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Book: Haitian Creole

Chapter: Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.25785


Chapter 1 opens with a general discussion of the difference between pidgin and creole languages. It then situates Haiti in the Caribbean and provides a short sketch of the history of the Republic of Haiti, with an emphasis on the French colonial period and a key event: the nineteen-year American Occupation. There follows a brief mention of the respective roles of French and Haitian Creole in Haiti and a list of the numerous linguistic studies bearing on the language, focusing on lexicographic resources. The final section of this lengthy chapter reviews the various French-based creoles in the Atlantic zone (Louisiana, the Caribbean, and French Guiana) and in the Indian Ocean (RĂ©union, Mauritius, Rodrigues, and the Seychelles), with a brief mention of Tayo, a potential creole language spoken in New Caledonia.

Chapter Contributors

  • Albert Valdman ( - book-auth-406) 'Indiana University'