The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Aboh and DeGraff in Oxford Handbook of Universal Grammar

Enoch Aboh (University of Amsterdam) and Michel DeGraff have recently published a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Universal Grammar. The chapter, titled A Null Theory of Creole Formation Based on Universal Grammar argues that Creoles emerge from principles of UG as all other languages do, and thus can provide important insight into both contact induced and diachronic language change.

Michel writes:

Enoch and I propose an analysis of Creole formation that goes against the grain of the most popular classic textbook dogmas which cast Creoles as the “exceptional” outcome of a Pidgin-to-Creole cycle. Our is a straightforward theory of “creolization,” without any “pidgin” phase and without any other creolization-specific stipulation. That is, ours is a “Null theory of Creole formation.”

An online version of the chapter is available here.