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#1— Area: Linguistics
Example of a “longish” abstract
Towards an Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures (APiCS)
Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany
Creole studies have seen various attempts at explaining the grammatical features of
creole languages. Different scholars have variously emphasized the role of substrates,
superstrates, and universal features. Many of these claims have been stimulating, but they
were often based on a small amount of merely suggestive data. There have been a number
of earlier broadly comparative studies, e.g Ferraz (1987) for Portuguese-based creoles,
Goodman (1964) for French-based creoles, Hancock (1987) for Atlantic English-based
creoles. Holm & Patrick (to appear) (Comparative creole syntax (Battlebridge)) have
been the first to carry out a collaborative project: different scholars have decribed 18
creole languages with respect to 97 morphosyntactic features.
In this paper, we would like to report on an even more ambitious project, the Atlas of
Pidgin and Creole Language Structures (APiCS), which continues this line of
collaborative comparative creole work.
The goal of APiCSis to gather comparable synchronic data on the grammatical and
lexical structures of a still larger number of contact languages, i.e. 60-80 pidgin and
creole languages. The data will be presented in the form of maps and as an interactive
electronic database. A companion volume will contain sociohistorical and grammatical
sketches of each language. This publication will be a comprehensive and authoritative
reference work on creole language structures bringing together the expertise of dozens of
creolists from around the world. APiCS will thus serve as an invaluable tool for teaching
and research, making systematic data on creole languages readily available for a wide
range of research questions (diachronic theories of creolization, uniformity and diversity
of creoles, general properties of language contact, typological characteristics of contact
The language set should contain not only the most widely studied Atlantic and Indian
Ocean creoles, but also less well known creoles from Africa, Asia, Melanesia, and
Australia. Each language will be the responsibility of a single author (or team of authors).
On the maps, each language will be represented by a dot. The data base will consist of
150-200 structural features which will be drawn from all areas of language structure:
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