Modeling the Evolution of Creoles
2015 (English)In: Language Dynamics and Change, ISSN 2210-5824, E-ISSN 2210-5832, Vol. 5, no 1, 1-51 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Various theories have been proposed regarding the origin of creole languages. Describing a process where only the end result is documented involves several methodological difficulties. In this paper we try to address some of the issues by using a novel mathematical model together with detailed empirical data on the origin and structure of Mauritian Creole. Our main focus is on whether Mauritian Creole may have originated only from a mutual desire to communicate, without a target language or prestige bias. Our conclusions are affirmative. With a confirmation bias towards learning from successful communication, the model predicts Mauritian Creole better than any of the input languages, including the lexifier French, thus providing a compelling and specific hypothetical model of how creoles emerge. The results also show that it may be possible for a creole to develop quickly after first contact, and that it was created mostly from material found in the input languages, but without inheriting their morphology.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, no 1, 1-51 p.
Creoles, Pidgins, Cultural Evolution, Mathematical Modelling, Simulation
General Language Studies and Linguistics Other Mathematics Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject General Linguistics; Mathematics; Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-115822DOI: 10.1163/22105832-00501005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-115822DiVA: diva2:800227
FunderSwedish Research CouncilEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 324233Riksbankens Jubileumsfond