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On the socio-historical context in the development of Louisiana and Saint-Domingue Creoles

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2008

Albert Valdman
Affiliation:
CREDLI, Ballantine Hall 602, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405, USA

Abstract

This paper presents a hypothesis for the genesis of Creole French by drawing conclusions from an illustrative comparison of Louisiana Creole and Haitian Creole, and by presenting a depiction of the social-historical context in which Louisiana Creole developed.

Bickerton's bioprogram and Baker and Corne's model comparing Mauritian Creole and its Reunionese congener are considered and found to be inadequate descriptions of the genesis of Creole French, since they assume that all parts of colonial Saint-Domingue, the île Bourbon (Reunion) and the île de France (Mauritius) had the same demographic mix and social structure. This paper offers and alternative model which suggests that French planation colonies did not constitute monolithic socio–politico–economic entities. On the contrary, differences in social setting were reflected by variartions in the local form of Creole French. Furthermore, certain structural features were diffused from one territory to another via the focal centres that also diffused the colonial model of social, political and economic organization. These are considered together to account for the range of variation found today in Louisiana Creole, and to explain the striking similarities between Louisiana Cre le and its geographically most proximate Creole French congener, Haitian Creole.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992

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