Haitian Creole and Guadeloupian Creole Mysteries
GC An k'ay [ka + ay]
prale [ap + ale]
1. What are differences in the pronominal system?
2. What are differences in terms of syntax? How many areas of
syntax show difference?
3. In what ways is GC more similar to Cape Haitian HC?
Discussion & Questions on Lefebvre, Claire 1998
1. What is Lefebvre's arguments about HC DP/NP
2. What does anaphoric versus cataphoric mean? Can you give
Examples of words or structures that are one or the other?
3. What does the difference mean?
Jan manje pen HC
K6kfi du bledi Fongbe
Jean mange du pain French
John eats bread
4. What is phonologically similar about Fongbe's determiners
compared to HC's?
5. Do French DP/NPs have any structure that resembles HC?
6. What do words like these suggest to Lefebvre?
Larivye a 'the river' la riviere
Lakay la 'the home' la case
Late a 'the land' la terre
Dlo a 'the water' l'eau
Diri a 'the rice' le riz
7. How do the Fongbe & HC relative clause resemble each other
compared to French?
8. Explain: "The copied lexical entry corresponding to the Fongbe
determiner 6 was relabelled on the basis of the phonetic matrix of
the French form la yielding the Haitian determiner la" (83). Could
you make a different argument?
1. Talk about why the HC form YO stands out. How does it
2. Where do some scholars claim YO comes from?
3. Explain "dialect leveling"
4. Examine and explain:
Krab yo Yo pati
Crab PL 6p leave
'the crabs' 'they leave'
Ason 1e Ye yi
Crab pl 6p leave
Les crabes Ils parent / Eux, ils parent
P1 crabs 6p leave / As for them, they leave
5. Several West African languages demonstrate homophony in
what relevant grammatical categories?
6. What about indefinite determiners?
7. What is the indefinite thought not to be the head of D?
Yon krab de krab HC
A crab two crabs
Ason de Ason we Fongbe
Crab a crab two
Un crab deux crabes French
A crab two crabs
Haitian Creole determiner / pronoun data
M we fre yo
Ip see brothers DEF/POSS
'I see their brotherss'
'I see the brothers'
M we fre yo a
Ip see brother pI DEF
'I see their brother'
I see the brother of theirs
@ @ (yo)
@ @ (yo)
*M we fre yo yo
M we fre m
M we fre m
M we fre m
Ip see brothers POSS
M we fre pa yo
M we fre pa yo a
(a) Northern HC possessive (ex. From Valdman 2007:345)
Sa se pa kin a ou, se kin a y
That is NEG POSS DEF PRO, is POSS DEF PRO
(b) Standard HC possessive:
Sa se pa pa ou a, se pa li a.
That is NEG POSS PRO DEF, is POSS PRO DEF
'That is not yours, its hers.'
Questions for discussion on DeGraff 2007, pp. 101-
1. What is the 'neo-colonial legacy' that DeGraff writes about?
2. What was the growth of the African slave population and what are
the dates of the its growth?
3. What is a stative verb?
4. What is the difference between (a) & (b)?
(a) Bouki vann chat la
sell cat DEF
(b) Bouki vann chat
5. What is the difference between (a) & (b)?
(a) Bouki te konn repons lan
ANT know answer DEF
(b) Bouki te ale anvan Boukinet vini
ANT go before came
6. What does 'counter-factual' mean? In what kind of clause it is
used? Which sentence is counter-factual?
(a) Si ou entelijan, ou konnen repons lan.
If 2p intelligent, 2p know answer DEF
(b) Si ou te entelijan, ou t a konnen repons lan.
If 2p ANT intelligent, 2p ANT IRR know answer DEF
7. When thinking about the progressive aspect in HC, what is
interesting about (a) & (b)?
(a) M ap manje
Ip AP eating
(b) M ap vini
Ip AP coming
8. What does the term inchoativee" refer to?
A stative verb is one which asserts that one of its arguments has a particular
property (possibly in relation to its other arguments). Statives differ from other
aspectual classes of verbs in that they are static; they have no duration and no
I am tired.
I have two children.
I like the color blue.
I think they want something to eat.
We believe in many Gods...
The case contains six bottles.
This would imply that we didn't care.
Inchoative = verbal category referring to action that will soon take place, e.g. "I'm
The lexical aspect, or aktionsart, plural aktionsarten, of a verb is a part of the
way in which that verb is structured in relation to time. Any event, state, process,
or action a verb expresses-collectively, any eventuality-may also be said to have
the same lexical aspect. Lexical aspect is distinguished from grammatical aspect:
lexical aspect is an inherent property of an eventuality, whereas grammatical
aspect is a property of a specific verb form. Lexical aspect is invariant, while
grammatical aspect can be changed according to the whims of the speaker.
For example, eat an apple differs from sit in that there is a natural endpoint or
conclusion to eating an apple. There is a time at which the eating is finished,
completed, or all done. By contrast, sitting can merely stop: unless we add more
details, it makes no sense to say that someone finished sitting. This is a distinction
of lexical aspect between the two verbs. Verbs that have natural endpoints are
called telic (from Ancient Greek telos, end); those without are called atelic.
DeGraff 2007, 108 and following...
1. What is a modal verb? What does it "mark"?
a. Tout moun vle al
b. Everybody wants to go
c. ledereen wil gaan
What are the different purposes ofpou 'for.'
Point out syntactic/morphological similarities
Gwan gal yuh fava teggereg,
Ah wey yuh gwine goh do?
Yuh an yuh boogooyagga fren
Dem tink me afraid o' yuh?
Me noh know is wat kine o' chu'ch
Fe yuh mout' could jine,
Yuh lip dem heng dung lacka wen
Mule kean meck up him mine.
naar de hemel
between Jamaican &
1. What is the difference between a & b?
a. Bouki konnen Boukinet renmen 1 anpil
b. Bouki konnen ke Boukinet renmen 1 anpil
B knows that B loves him a lot
2. What is recursionn" or "iteration" in syntax?
3. What is the difference between a & b?
a. Moun ki pa travay p ap touche
People who NEG work NEG PROG paid
'People who don't work aren't going to be paid'
b. Annou vote pou kandida nou vle a
Let's vote P candidate 4p want D
'Let's vote for the candidate we want'
Michel DeGraff & Daniel Harbour
Predicate clefts: West African substrate influence
[CP [IP [VP ]]]
What categories & structures have we already associated with CP?
Interrogatives, complementizers (that), conjunctions (because),
discourse markers, adverbs
He told me [cp that, like, you know, unfortunately, [IP he couldn't come ]]
Li di m [cp ke, komsi, ou konnen, malerezman, [IP li pa t ka vini ]]
Se malad Bouki malad, li pa mouri
It's sick B sick he didn't die [Se maladx] Bouki maladx, li pa mouri
'Bouki is really sick.' Adj
Se mache Bouki te mache, li pa te kouri
It's walk B PST walk, he NEG PST run [Se machex] Bouki te machex, li pa te kouri
'Bouki really walked, he didn't run' V
Q: What are the mechanics of this structure?
Q: How is it built? What are its parts?
Q: What categories are clefted?
Other types of clefting
Se yon dokte Elifet ye, li pa yon enfimy<
It's D doctor E pro, he NEG D nurse
'Elifet is really a doctor, he isn't a nurse.'
Se nan jaden an Elifet ye
It'sP garden D E V
'Elifet is in the garden.'
[Sex yon dokte] Elifet yex, li pa yon enfimye
[Sex nan jaden an] Elifet yex
Q: How are these clefts similar & different from those above?
Q: What types of categories/phrases are clefted?
Rive 1 rive, fi a pati.
Arrive he arrive, girl the left
'When he arrived, the girl left'
Q: What is different about the clefting structure given above?
Q: What kind of clause is it? (What is the clause's job?)
Se malad Bouki malad, li pa mouri
[Se malad] Bouki malad, li pa mouri
Se mache Bouki te mache, li pa te kouri
[Se mache] Bouki te mache, li pa te kouri
Se yon dokte Elifet ye, li pa yon enfimye
[Se yon dokte] Elifet ye, li pa yon enfimye
PERIPHERY TRACE MORPHEME LINKED TO SE
Se nan jaden an Elifet ye
[Se nan jaden an] Elifet ye
PERIPHERY TRACE MORPHEME
Questions on DeGraff for pair work & communication:
1. What is the difference between these comparison structures? Which do you use?
chen sa pi bel pase chat sa Stan. that dog is more pretty than that cat
chen sa pli bel ke chat sa Fr. "
chen sa pli bel pase chat sa DeGr "
2. Explain this curious difference with existential verb genyen/gen 'to have.'
(a) *Kisa ou gen? [* = ungrammatical]
(b) Kisa ou genyen?
What you have? 'What do you have?'
3. What's the difference between English & Creole?
Bouki voye timoun yo al lekol
Bouki sent children Dpl go school 'Bouki sent the children away/off to school'
4. What kind of structure is shown in (b)? Can you explain what is happening?
(a) Mwen fe kabann nan maten an
I made bed the morning the 'I made the bed in the morning'
(b) Kabann nan fet maten an
Bed the made morning the 'The bed was made in the morning
5. Which of these two verbs is stative versus non-stative? What kind of structure is (b)?
(a) Yo kraze machine nan
They demolished car the 'They demolished the car'.
(b) Machin nan kraze
Car the demolished 'The car is demolished'.
Harbour, part 3.
1. Explain the relationship of example (a) with (b):
(a) Bondye granmet tandex tandex priye m
God bigmaster hear hear prayer my
'Lord God, truly hear my prayer.'
(b) Se tandex Bondye granmet tandex priye m
It's hear God bigmaster hear prayer my
'Lord God truly heard my prayer.'
2. What does Harbour mean by 'thoroughgoingness'
3. What is 'low' versus 'high' reduplication?
4. Explain: "Cooccurrence Restriction: In the surface string, no single
predicate can both be low reduplicated and cleft". Which one is bad = *?
a) Jan kouri kouri pou 1 rive ale.
b) Se kouri Jan kouri pou li rive ale.
c) Se kouri Jan kouri kouri pou 1 rive ale.
'Jan really ran fast to get there on time'
5. What is the basic argument of Harbour?
6. What is the implication/meaning of a cooccurrence restriction?
7. Does it make sense to assimilate wh-movement (questions) with
Verb syntax in, and beyond, creolization
1. When DeGraff talks about a "surface level", what
does that imply?
2. What is DeGraff's basic morphosyntactic thesis?
3. Why did Haitians create HC, why didn't they stick
with French or Fongbe?
4. What is a pidgin language? What are some linguistic
facts about the people who speak pidgins?
5. How does a pidgin become a creole?
6. What are creoles compatible with?
7. What is synchronic versus diachronic?
8. Explain the 'creole continue': basilect / mesolect /
acrolect / lexifier
9. "P/C instantiates diachrony" (explain)
10. What is the difference between the examples:
(a) Ti Pye deja konn leson an
Ti Pye already know lesson the
(b) *Ti Pye konn deja leson an
'Ti Pye already knows the lesson'
(c) Pierre connait deji la legon
Pierre know already the lesson
(d) *Pierre deji connait la legon
'Pierre already knows the lesson'
(e) Bo k6k16 16 s61o sulu nuf Fongbe
And chicken the again vomit thing
'and the chicken again vomited the thing'
'Et le poulet vomit encore la chose' Fr
(f) Je ne veut pas etudier
(g) *Je ne pas veut etudier
(h) M pa vle etidye
(i) *M vle pa etidye
'I don't want to study'
Data from Fongbe (Brand 2000, my translations)
(a) bo vi 16 je va o16 kfuji
and child the began flute the play
'and the child began to play the flute (Brand 2000:41)
What is curious about the direct object?
(b) b6 fninui 16 do
and woman the said
'and the woman said...'
(c) bo fin 16 huzu Da Ayida Huedo (37)
and man the became Dan Ayida Huedo
'and the man became the snake Ayida Huedo
What is curious about the definite determiner?
(d) bo ye yi je k6ta de ko
and they left arrived termite mound a nearby
'and they arrived at a nearby termite mound' (37)
What is curious about the indefinite determiner?
Notes on Fongbe:
Regarding (a), see (e):
(e) Timoun nan pote bagay la vini
Child the carry thing the come
'the child carried the thing over'
(f) Li voye fatra a jete
She sent trash the throw
'She threw the trash away'
What is curious about the direct object in these serial
Notes on HC lexical items:
ayovi, alounvi, alovi, elounvi, elovi, malounvi, tchovi,
tyovi= child still-born or deceased after birth; tiny baby
Danbala Wedo / Ayida Wedo
Nonm = un homme or Mn
La = 16 ?
Yo = ye (n.b. in Louisiana Creole 3p pl. is ye) eux
Question on morphosyntax, p. 71-76
1. How do French verb relate to their inflections, i.e.
J'aimerai manger quelque chose
How does aim-er-ai = ai-er-aim ???
2. What is AgrP & TP?
3. What is D-structure? What is S-structure?
Tree-drawing activity. Can you diagram this square-
[AgrP Je [Agr' [aimi-er]-a] [TP [T' t [VP [V' ti ]]]]]]
J'aimera = I will love
1. How is the morphology driving the syntax?
(a) Ben ne parle pas bien le fongbe FINITE
Ne pas parler le fongbe n'est pas bon. NON-F
*Ne parler pas le fongbe n'est pas bon.
3. What is DeGraff trying to say about inflection?
Fr. Je [parl]
HC M pale
4. What is interesting about Louisiana Creole?
(a) Fo tuzhu koupe zerb la
Must always cut grass the
(b) Fo to kup tuzhu zerb la
Must you cut always grass the
Why this difference?
(c) Mo pa bwa diven
I not drink wine
(d) Mo bwa pa diven
I drink not wine
Why is this a problem for Rottet and how
does he solve it?
5. What is interesting about English diachronically?
What happened to English and why did it happen?
Ti dikte IPA
[ bl mana muri aba lakal batima a-]
[ d3ob mw- se tSeke fim na ]
Flore Zephir (1998)
1. Why should bilingual education not be remedial
2. Define Language as a problem
Language as a right
Language as a resource
3. Would bilingual education threaten the "social and
political stability of the US"? Exemplify yes/no.
4. How could bilingual education produce students with
5. How did bilingual education become a civil rights
6. How can bilingual communities be seen as a
7. What is "cultural wastage."
8. What is the "Common Underlying Proficiency"
9. What are some cognitive benefits to bilingualism?
10. What are some of the problems in US school
system with respect to bilinguals and Creole-
11. What is the "bipolar" classification of race found
in the US? Why is this so empirically problematic?
Is Haitian Creole a Pro-Drop Language
1. What is pro-drop, what is a null subject?
2. What is curious about:
(a) Genle Jak damou
Seems Jacques is in love
'it seems Jacques is in love.'
(b) (li)te fb fret
*(It) was cold
*(Il) faisait froid (Fr.)
'it was cold.'
3. What other empty categories have we talked about?
4. What is a 'referential pronoun' versus an expletive
5. What do these examples suggest with respect to the
notions 'tonic pronoun' versus 'clitic'?
Mwen ale > m ale
Mwen ap pale > m ap pale
6. What is wrong below?
*Li, bel ti abitan an, ap viv nan vil Sen-Mak
She, the lovely little farmer, is living living in Sen-Mak
7. In the question, Ki moun ki genyen, what can one
8. Do Haitian auxiliaries move?
*Te ou we mwen?
Did you see me
Ti dikte IPA
[ bla mana muvi aba lakal batima a-]
mwe se tSeke pyi jo
[d3] = voiced affricate
[tS] = unvoiced affricate
= open "6"
[ o] = closed & labialized "o"
A pa ti long lajoune long
[ A pa ti 15g la3une 15g! ]
Ayiti: Se pa ti long lajounen long
[ Se pa ti 15g la3uni 15g! ]
What a long day it was!
Se jouwb-la pa te dako6 vb arbit-la
la pa te dako cvc aybit-la]
Ayiti: Jwe yo pa t dako avek abit la
[3wC jo pa t dako avsk abit la]
'The players didn't agree with the referee.'
[ v] = HC's "r"
Gwada: Se vle i vle i, ba i li!
[se vle j vle j, ba j li ]
[se vle i vle i, ba i li]
Ayiti Se vle li vle li, ba li li
[Se vle li vle li, ba li li]
Gwada: An ka pati lendi demen, me an poko ni biye-la
[a ka pati Ildi dcm-, me a poko ni bije la]
Ayiti: M ap pati lendi demen, men m poko gen biye a
[m ap patsi lEdi demE, mE mpoko gZ bije a]
Johnson & Alphonse-Ferere
1. What is the 'Gallicizing' dialect?
2. What vowels is the Gallicizing dialect known for? Can you
write down at least 2 of them in IPA?
3. What are the features of/p t k / ?
4. What are the features of /b d g / ?
5. When does / g / become / r /? Can you think of an
6. What are the dental sounds of Haitian Creole? Why are
they called dental?
7. What do we call /ti/ [tsi] or /di/ [dzi] ;
/tjeke/ 4- [tsjeke]
8. What is a velar fricative or approximant? How is it
represented in the IPA? What other sounds are considered
9. What are HC's high vowels, mid-vowels and low
10. Do Johnson & Alphonse-Ferbre consider nasal
vowels to be underived?
11. What consonants trigger "deliberate nasalization"?
12. What do Johnson & Alphonse-Ferbre call the
phenomenon given below:
Does this phenomenon cross morpheme boundaries?
13. What is segmental versus supersegmental? What is
said to be a supersegmental aspect of Haitian Creole
phonology? What are the advantages of such a claim?