Past issues

2005-1Les créoles : des langues comme les autres
(Creoles: languages like any other)
Click the book to abstract!This issue has been put on line in its integrality on the Cairn portal:
  • Dominique FATTIER (Université de Cergy-Pontoise)
    pp. 5-10
  • Michel DEGRAFF (MIT, États-Unis)
    Do Creoles languages constitute an exceptional typological class ?
    pp. 11-24

    This article surveys a number of hypotheses in which Creole languages constitute a sui generis class on historical and/or typological grounds. With Haitian Creole as a bench mark, I catalogue some of the empirical and theoretical flaws in these hypotheses. The latter, which underlie much work in contemporary creolistics, have intellectual antecedents in (pseudo)-scholarly work from the 17th-century onward, including early creolists' (pre-/quasi-)Darwinian theories of Creole genesis. I conclude by sketching an alternative theory that is more consistent with Creole structures and their development.

  • Georges Daniel VÉRONIQUE (Paris III)
    Interlangues françaises et créoles français
    (French and French creole interlanguages)
    pp. 25-37

    This paper discusses the major role played by language learning processes in the birth of creole languages. The notions of pidgin, pidginization and creolization are examined in a language contact and SLA perspective. The evolution of the verbal system and of negation in the emergent French related creoles is compared with developmental sequences observed in French interlanguages.

  • Albert VALDMAN (Indiana University, États-Unis)
    Vers la standardisation du créole haïtien
    (Towards a standardisation of Haitian creole)
    pp. 39-52

    This article addresses the central issues faced by language planners in the development of a written norm for Haitian Creole: (1) selecting among geographical and sociolinguistic variants; (2) devising an autonomous, phonologically-based systematic spelling instead of an etymological one modeled on that of Standard French; (3) dealing with morphophonological alternations that are either free variants or that reflect stylistic differentiation. It does broach the issue of the preparation of a monolingual dictionary, the veritable capstone in the standardization process.

  • Annegret BOLLÉE (Bamberg, Allemagne)
    Lexicographie créole : problèmes et perspectives
    (Creole lexicography: problems and perspectives)
    pp. 53-63

    The present article, focussing on creoles based on Romance languages, begins with a brief historical overview of existing lexicographic inventories. The second part of the contribution is dedicated to problems of creole lexicography which are partly the same as those encountered in the description of any other language. Certain specific problems of creole lexicography are due to the fact that creoles are oral languages which only recently began to develop a written code. For this reason lexicographic inventories are often meant to fix an orthography, and they reflect a stage of elaboration of technical and scientific terms which can either be borrowed from the base language or created by means of word formation from proper creole morphemes. These problems are discussed and illustrated by examples taken from recent publications.

  • Emmanuel SCHANG, Jean-Louis ROUGÉ, Iris ESHKOL & Mélanie PETIT (Orléans / Orléans)
    CreolData : une base de données lexicales sur les langues créoles
    (CreolData: a lexical database on creole languages)
    pp. 65-76

    This paper presents CreolData, a multilingual lexical database concerning the Portuguese-based Creole Languages of Africa. In section 2, we describe the goals of the project. Section 3 is devoted to a short description of the languages of the database. We then give an overview of XML and the standards for electronic dictionaries, and focus on the macrostructure the microstructure (sections 4, 5 and 6). Finally, we give an outlook for future developments of this project (section 7).

  • Marie-Christine HAZAËL-MASSIEUX (Aix-en-Provence)
    L'écriture des créoles au début du 3e millénaire : état de la question
    (The writing of French creoles at the dawn of the 3rd millennium: an inventory)
    pp. 77-90

    The attitude of native speakers of Creoles with regard to written Creoles and vis-a-vis the "standardizing" efforts of linguists is an important subject which needs to be constantly re-examined. In the face of the general trend towards the standardization of Creole graphic systems, the reaction of speakers, themselves potential writers, has changed very little. The militants, for their part, would like to see all obstacles to written Creole swiftly removed in those places where Creoles writing is not in favor. Different cases involving different countries must be taken into account in order to arrive at a better understanding of the kinds of situations in which written Creole languages develop, whatever the degree to which diglossia or even various types of multilingualism may be present.

  • Robert CHAUDENSON (Aix-en-Provence)
    Description et graphisation : le cas des créoles français
    (Description and graphisation in French creoles)
    pp. 91-102

    Paradoxically, the implementation of the "Unicode" norm, which gives creators of graphic codes the possibility to use just any sign, makes it even more necessary to distinguish preliminary reflection and the decision to use a specific graphic code for languages which function without written forms. We therefore propose to make a distinction between the concepts of "graphiation" and "graphisation". The former encompasses all approaches to problems linked to assigning to a given language a written sign system wether based on social, economical, psychological and linguistic considerations. The latter includes technical solutions resulting from preliminary reflection. In other words, it is necessary to determine why one decides to create a written code for a language, prior to deciding on how it will or should be done.

  • Lambert Félix PRUDENT (La Réunion)
    Langue et culture créoles : création d'une discipline et construction de normes
    (Creole language and cultures: creating a discipline and norms)
    pp. 103-114

    In the year 2001, the French government made the Creole languages of Guadeloupe, Guyane, Martinique and Reunion, one single "Regional Language of France". The main reason for this policy is educational and should led to results in creating one single teacher's assessment exam for that subject. Disregarding local differences, underestimating the complexity of the settling of regional linguistic norms, and blindly following the all Creole activist discourse, the French authorities launched a project that has had no significant positive results. This article leads to the conclusion that there is a need for a differentiating branch of linguistics and recommends the creation of normative commissions working in the field with a goal to implement efficient policies.

  • Arnaud CARPOORAN (Maurice)
    Langue créole, recensements et législation linguistique à Maurice
    (Creole language, statistics and language legislation at Mauritius)
    pp. 115-127

    This article is an attempt to study the relationship between Creole language and Language law in Mauritius, bearing in mind the fact that Creole is the spoken language most widely used in Mauritius while being one of the least recognized languages both officially and institutionally. We will try to stress on the one hand, the particular choice of the implicit mode by the law-maker when it comes to pave the way to the use of Creole in official situations and, on the other hand, the frequent disparity between what the law says and what people actually do when it comes to linguistic practices.

Book reviews
  • La crise du français, de C. Bally
    par S. Delesalle
    pp. 139-140
  • Saussure : la langue, l'ordre et le désordre, de A. Petroff
    par M. Arrivé
    pp. 140-141
  • Histoire de la linguistique africaine, des précurseurs aux années 70, de J. Doneux
    par C. Kouoh Mboundja
    pp. 142-143