Creole languages consistently show valency patterns that cannot be traced back to their lexifier languages, but derive from their substrate languages. In this paper, I start out from the observation that a convincing case for substrate influence can be made by adopting a world-wide comparative approach. If there are recurrent matches between substrate and creole structures in a given construction type, in creoles of different world regions and with different substrates, then we can exclude the possibility of an accident, and substrate influence is the only explanation. The construction types that I will look at are ditransitive constructions (Section 3), weather constructions (Section 4), experiencer constructions (Section 5), and motion constructions (Section 6). I will draw on the unique typological data source from the Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures (Michaelis et al., 2013a; 2013b). My conclusion is that the data provided in AP i CS support the claim that during creolization, valency patterns have been systematically calqued into the nascent creoles.
Susanne Maria Michaelis
Glossed, Translated and Annotated
Seino van Breugel
Edited by Ane Berro, Fernández Beatriz and Jon Ortiz de Urbina
Language, Lexicon, Text, and Translation
A Descriptive and Comparative Account with Analyzed Texts
This paper sketches the integration of Greek-origin loan verbs into the valency and transitivity patterns of Coptic (Afroasiatic, Egypt), arguing that transitivities are language-specific descriptive categories, and the comparison of donor-language transitivity with target-language transitivity reveals fine-grained degrees of loan-verb integration. Based on a comparison of Coptic Transitivity and Greek Transitivity, it is shown that Greek-origin loanwords are only partially integrated into the transitivity patterns of Coptic. Specifically, while Greek-origin loan verbs have the same coding properties as native verbs in terms of the A domain, i.e., Differential Subject Marking (dsm), they differ in important respects in terms of the P domain, i.e., Differential Object Marking (dom) and Differential Object Indexing (doi). A main result of this study is that language contact – specifically, massive lexical borrowing – can induce significant transitivity splits in a language’s lexicon and grammar. Furthermore, the findings of this study cast doubt on the usefulness of an overarching cross-linguistic category of transitivity.