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Book: Haitian Creole

Chapter: The Genesis and Development of Haitian Creole

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.25797


Chapter 13 opens with a presentation of the various hypotheses put forward to account for the genesis of creole languages. It begins with those that view it somewhat as an exceptional process—the Creole Prototype, the Bioprogram, and the Relexification theories . It follows with the Superstratist approach, which views HC as the unguided acquisition of Colonial French in the special social context of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century plantation colonies. The next section attempts to account for the relationship among the French-based creoles of the Atlantic zone, with the support of historical evidence and early texts, as well as consideration of vernacular varieties of French, particularly those of the Americas. The final section returns to the issue of transfer from African substrate languages espoused by the Relexification hypothesis, some involving congruence between structures of the substrate and Colonial French, others pointing to an apparent total transfer.

Chapter Contributors

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