The Acquisition of Creole Languages

The Acquisition of Creole Languages : How Children Surpass their Input

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How do children acquire a Creole as their first language? This relatively underexplored question is the starting point for this first book of its kind; it also asks how first language acquisition of a Creole differs from that of a non-Creole language. Dany Adone reveals that in the absence of a conventional language model, Creole children acquire language and go beyond the input they receive. This study discusses the role of input, a hotly debated issue in the field of first language acquisition, and provides support for the nativist approach in the debate between nativism and input-based models. The Acquisition of Creole Languages will be essential reading for those in the fields of First Language Acquisition and Creole Studies. Adone takes an interdisciplinary approach, and uses insights from the acquisition of language in the visual modality, making this of great interest to those in the field of Sign more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 28 b/w illus. 21 tables
  • 1139511955
  • 9781139511957

About Dany Adone

Dany Adone is a Professor of Applied English Linguistics, Director of the Australian Studies programme and Director of the Language Lab at the University of Cologne. She has also served as President of the Society for Pidgin and Creole more

Table of contents

1. Creole languages; 2. Issues in first language acquisition; 3. Complex Creole syntax; 4. Child Creole data; 5. Pronouns and reflexives; 6. Double-object constructions; 7. Passive constructions; 8. Serial verb constructions; 9. Acquisition without a conventional language model; Appendix A. Experimental materials on pronouns and reflexives; Appendix B. Experimental materials on double-object constructions; Appendix C. Experimental materials on passive constructions; Appendix D. Experimental materials on serial verb more

Review quote

'Dr Adone is, to date, the only scholar to deal with the acquisition of a Creole language, and this book both broadens and deepens her pioneering 1994 study. It should prove indispensable as both stimulus and benchmark for those who, hopefully, will now study acquisition in other Creoles.' Derek Bickerton, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii, Manoa 'This is the first book to present a comprehensive review of the acquisition of Creole languages. The inclusion of sign language acquisition makes this volume even more welcome, as it provides to researchers concerned with spoken language acquisition, as well as those concerned with sign language acquisition, an introduction to a modality-independent view of Creole acquisition.' Bencie Woll, University College London 'This invaluable monograph provides novel research results from comprehension, production and judgment tasks on the acquisition of four aspects of the syntax of French-based Creoles spoken in Mauritius and the Seychelles, relating to binding, double object, passive and serial verb structures. It is a fascinating study and an invaluable research resource for anyone interested in first language acquisition and Creoles.' Andrew Radford, University of Essex 'Dany Adone's work is a model of how to approach Creole languages: she weaves together modern perspectives on the acquisition problem, extra-linguistic effects, linguistic theory, sophisticated experimental techniques, and fieldwork to address classic questions in binding theory, quantification, passive, recursion, and especially double object constructions and serial verb constructions. She shows that children spontaneously exhibit recursion in the unusual serial verb construction, revealing the most sophisticated form of linguistic creativity in the most challenging environments where the poverty of stimulus - limited input - is present. This work not only reflects on core issues in acquisition but should inspire acquisition study of novel forms of creativity in understudied languages.' Thomas Roeper, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 'Considering the crucial role attributed to children in many models of creole genesis, the acquisition of creoles has not been a topic of extensive research. Dany Adone is one of the few to have taken up this challenge ... With its application of rigorous experimental methods, this study is a major contribution to the ontogenetic study of 'classical' creoles. It is rich in data which are made to speak profound theoretical issues. Methodologically, it offers an exemplary model for future studies in the acquisition of contact languages.' Stephen Matthews, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languagesshow more