The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Languages by John McwhorterThe Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Languages by John Mcwhorter

The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Languages

byJohn Mcwhorter

Hardcover | July 3, 2000

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John McWhorter challenges an enduring paradigm among linguists in this provocative exploration of the origins of plantation creoles. Using a wealth of data--linguistic, sociolinguistic, historical--he proposes that the "limited access model" of creole genesis is seriously flawed. That model maintains that plantation creole languages emerged because African slaves greatly outnumbered whites on colonial plantations. Having little access to the slaveholders' European languages, the slaves were forced to build a new language from what fragments they did acquire. Not so, says McWhorter, who posits that plantation creole originated in West African trade settlements, in interactions between white traders and slaves, some of whom were eventually transported overseas.

The evidence that most New World creoles were imports traceable to West Africa strongly suggests that the well-established limited access model for plantation creole needs revision. In forcing a reexamination of this basic tenet, McWhorter's book will undoubtedly cause controversy. At the same time, it makes available a vast amount of data that will be a valuable resource for further explorations of genesis theory.
John H. McWhorter is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Towards a New Model of Creole Genesis (1997), The Word on the Street: Fact and Fable about American English (1998), and Spreading the Word: Language and Dialect in America (1999).
Title:The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact LanguagesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:292 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.88 inPublished:July 3, 2000Publisher:University of California PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0520219996

ISBN - 13:9780520219991


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Where Are the Spanish Creoles?
2.1. Introduction
2.2. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico
2.3. "There Are Spanish Creoles": Papiamentu and Palenquero
2.4. "There Were Spanish Creoles": Bozal Spanish and the "Extinct Pan-Hispanic Creole"
2.5. "There Will Turn Out to Be Spanish Creoles"
2.6. Accommodating the Theory to the Data: Sociétés d'Habitations versus Plantations
2.7. The Spanish as Kinder, Gentler Colonizers
2.8. "Nothing Is at Issue": The "Case-by-Case" Argument
2.9. Conclusion

3. The Atlantic English-Based Creoles: Sisters Under the Skin
3.1. Introduction
3.2. Methodology
3.3. The Features
3.4. A Closer Look
3.5. Implications
3.6. Sociohistorical Evidence
3.7. Summary

4. The Creationist at a Cocktail Party: Afrogenesis and the Atlantic English-Based Creoles
4.1. Introduction
4.2. Dating the Emergence of Sranan
4.3. A Theoretical Anomaly
4.4. Barbados?
4.5. West African Trade Settlements
4.6. The Cormantin Castle
4.7. Linguistic Evidence for the Cormantin Scenario
4.8. Preserving the Paradigm
4.9. Hancock's Domestic Hypothesis
4.10. Conclusion

5. Off the Plantation for Good: The French-Based Creoles
5.1. Introduction
5.2. Linguistic Data
5.3. Sociohistorical Evidence
5.5. Exploring Other Perspectives
5.6. The Portuguese Creoles
5.7. The Dutch Question
5.8. Conclusion

6. Synthesis
6.1. Geocentrism and Creole Studies
6.2. The Afrogenesis Hypothesis: Fundamental Outline
6.3. The Afrogenesis Hypothesis: Elaboration
6.4. The Afrogenesis Hypothesis: Problems Become Predictions
6.5. The Afrogenesis Hypothesis: Changing the Lens
6.6. The Case-by-Case Argument
6.7. The Reality of the Paradigm

7. Conclusion
7.1. The Middle Ground
7.2. The Domain of the Afrogenesis Hypothesis
7.3. Standards of Evaluation
7.4. Curtain



From Our Editors

There is a lasting archetype among linguists when it comes to plantation Creole’s origins. Drawing on linguistic, sociolingusitic and historical data, John McWhorter disputes this notion in The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Languages. McWhorter finds this model of Creole’s beginnings faulty, which claims that plantation Creole languages emerged because African slaves outnumbered whites on colonial plantations. The slaves, with little access to the slaveholders’ European languages, had to build their own language. McWhorter contends that plantation Creole started in West African trade settlements, through interactions between white traders and slaves.

Editorial Reviews

McWhorter has delivered a milestone contribution to creole studies.--John M. Lipski, The Carrier Pidgin