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Linguistics Colloquium: John McWhorter (Columbia/Manhattan Institute)

NOV 14, 2013 | 5:00 PM TO 6:41 PM

Details

WHERE:

The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue

ROOM:

C204

WHEN:

November 14, 2013: 5:00 PM-6:41 PM

ADMISSION:

Free

Description

Title: "Is There No Such Thing as a Creole?"

Abstract:

Since the introduction of the Creole Exceptionalism hypothesis in  1998, much of the controversy it has occasioned has centered on the  question as to whether it is scientifically appropriate to reconstruct  creoles as born in pidgins, rather than as results of only moderately  transformative second-language acquisition or as simply mixtures of  "features" from assorted languages. This talk will first outline  traits in creoles that reveal their origins in pidgins. Then, I will  present a revised characterization of the three features that I argue  as occurring only in languages born of pidgins, and demonstrate how  this distinguishes creoles from older languages sometimes adduced as  contradicting Creole Exceptionalism. I will also discuss the competing  Feature Pool / Population Genetics hypothesis of creole origins.


This talk begins at 5 p.m. instead of the usual 4:15 p.m.