Dr. David Tezil publishes his latest article in the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages


David Tezil 



Publication URL



Tezil, D. (2022). On the influence of Kreyòl swa: Evidence from the nasalization of the Haitian Creole determiner /la/ in non-nasal environments. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 37(2). 291-320.


The Haitian Creole (Kreyòl) spoken by bilingual speakers is a prestigious form of speech generally referred to as Kreyòl swa (KS), where Frenchified features (e.g. front rounded vowels) are often used. In contrast, monolingual speakers use Kreyòl rèk (KR), a variety in which Frenchified features do not generally occur (Fattier-Thomas 1984Valdman 2015). In this article, I establish the nasalization of the definite determiner /la/ in non-nasal environments (), e.g. chat lan for chat la ‘the cat’, as a feature of KS. I show that while bilingual speakers do use both Frenchification and , monolingual speakers overuse nasalization as compared to bilingual speakers, but use Frenchification less than the bilingual group because it is harder to produce. Based in these findings, I suggest that the linguistic sociolinguistic situation of Haiti is more complex, i.e. it is extended beyond the relationship between French and Kreyòl.

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