Agency in the Emergence of Creole Languages

The role of women, renegades, and people of African and indigenous descent in the emergence of the colonial era creoles

Nicholas Faraclas | Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
ISBN 9789027252685 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027273796 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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This book is a ‘must read’ for those who are looking for fresh perspectives on the process of creolization of language. Focusing on peoples whose agency has too often been rendered invisible in colonial and neo-colonial history and on voices which have too often been silenced in linguistic accounts of creole genesis, this volume considers socio-historical and linguistic evidence that attests to the important roles played in the emergence of the Atlantic and Pacific Creoles by marginalized populations, such as women and people of non-European descent. In this work, the authors amass and critically analyze a wealth of compelling data not only from phonology, morpho-syntax, pragmatics, and descriptive, theoretical, and applied linguistics, but also from history, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, and critical theory to demonstrate how enterprising women, rebellious slaves, insubordinate sailors, and a host of other renegades and maroons had a major impact on the creolized societies, cultures, and languages of the colonial era Atlantic and Pacific.
[Creole Language Library, 45] 2012.  xiii, 246 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This is one of the most original and innovative works on Creole languages in the Caribbean and elsewhere to have come along in decades, inviting us to consider the role of women, marginalized, and indigenous peoples more fully than we ever have before. Not everyone will agree with the author’s bold proposals, but no one will be able to ignore them, and the field of creole studies will be vivified in the process.”
“This volume is another in a series of outstanding contributions to creole language studies coming out of the Department of English of the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras (UPR-R). It is a comprehensive treatment of the socio-economic/cultural matrices in which the processes of creolisation unfurled. The scope covered surpasses anything previously published. It provides new insights into perennial issues of creole genesis (such as the African Substratum Hypothesis) and deconstructs some of the perennial myths of creole linguistics (such as “mono-causality”). The book also explores a number of other issues; some are new, such as the agency of women; others have only been adumbrated in earlier works, such as the agency of the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean in creole genesis.Another outstanding feature of this volume is that it is the product of collaborative research being undertaken by a team headed by Professor Nicholas Faraclas and including graduate students of the UPR-R. The UPR-R has become a vital centre for creole and contact linguistic studies bringing together expertise on the Pacific, African and Caribbean zones of creolisation. The work of the graduate students augurs well for the continued development of these studies in future generations.”
“This collection of original and provocative essays offers fresh and powerful insights into the contributions made by marginalized groups to every aspect of Caribbean societies, especially language. It is a powerful attempt to remedy previous neglect of the role of women, West Africans and indigenous people in shaping the social and linguistic landscape of New World colonies. Its broad scope and impressive scholarship illuminate the complexity of the emergence of creole cultures and languages. It will undoubtedly have a major impact on the field, and provide promising new avenues for future research in creole studies.”
“Now well into its third century, Creole Studies has become central to formal, historical and socio-linguistics. Focusing on the latter, this volume presents data on hitherto largely ignored elements in Creole formation: the role of women, indigenous Americans and buccaneers among them. A welcome contribution to our growing understanding of this fascinating discipline.”
“A mortal blow to business as usual in creole studies, an indispensable addition to the history of the modern world, with capitalism at its center. The scholar collective authoring this book forces us to rethink multiplicity with respect to agency, race, gender, class, and the rise of capitalism as these phenomena infused, shaped, and made possible the genesis and evolution of pidgin and creole languages. This book’s themes give creole studies the wherewithal to join others on center stage in the analysis of modern world history.”
“An energetic merengue on the remains of Eurocentric assumptions about creole genesis.”
Cited by

Cited by 5 other publications

Klein, Thomas B. & Michael Adams
2017. Continuity versus English Influence in the West African Lexicon of Gullah. American Speech 92:2  pp. 107 ff. DOI logo
Meakins, Felicity
2023. The third space in the fourth column. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 38:2  pp. 431 ff. DOI logo
Mufwene, Salikoko S.
2014. The case was never closed. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 29:1  pp. 157 ff. DOI logo
Schneider, Edgar W. & Raymond Hickey
2020. Contact and Caribbean Creoles. In The Handbook of Language Contact,  pp. 403 ff. DOI logo
Sippola, Eeva
2022. The macrosociolinguistics of language contact. Sociolinguistica 36:1-2  pp. 195 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 june 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CF/2ZP: Linguistics/Pidgins & Creoles

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012012726 | Marc record