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In this chapter the author addresses the following questions: What does it mean to say that a language is a creole? Do creoles constitute a separate global typological class apart from other language typological groupings? The author calls for research on creole languages that is free from linguistic feature bias, creole language list bias, and genealogical bias. He compares expansion languages from the Meso and South American indigenous language families, particularly the Quechuan family (focusing on Ecuador, the northern border), with the Arawakan, Tupian, Cariban, Jêan, Chibchan, Uto-Aztecan, Mayan, and Otomanguean families. The comparison highlights processes of ethnogenesis, morphological reduction, and sub- or adstrate influence. The findings help broaden the definition of “creole” to refer to a special lexifier– descendant relationship, making the notion of creole a relational one, to facilitate comparisons with other languages and with “linguistic areas.” Questions that remain include: Are there area-specific features? And can this approach shed light on the characterization of creoles as a particular group of languages? What role can language contact play in reconstructing language families?
This special issue deals with cross-linguistic priming in bilinguals, and consists of six contributions, which were all presented during the workshop on cross-linguistic priming in bilinguals at Radboud University Nijmegen (NL) in September 2013 (http://crosslingprimingconf2013.wordpress.com).
The paper to which this commentary responds (Goldrick, Putnam & Schwarz, 2016) represents a big step forward in a field which was showing signs of stasis – the study of the grammatical properties of intra-sentential code-switching or code-mixing – and this for two reasons. First of all, it explicitly links the insights from the grammatical study of code-mixing to the rich array of results from psycholinguistic research in the domain of bilingual language processing, making use of the Gradient Symbolic Computation framework (GSC; Smolensky, Goldrick & Mathis, 2014). Second, it provides a set of tools to handle problems in the domain of code-mixing having to do with simultaneous representations in the domain of bilingual complexes.