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 1984; Valdman 2015). In this article, I establish the nasalization of the definite determiner /la/ in non-nasal environments (LÃ), 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 LÃ, 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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