Creole Languages

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Creole Languages and their Relevance to Linguistic Theory

First of all, before discussing specific features of Creole languages, it is worth to take a closer look at the way children master the language used by their enviroment and parents, so the method of how children learn their native language. Even though linguists have been seeking the answer for this question for several decades now, there is still no reassuring and certain viewpoint on this issue. Basically there are two main points of view, two main ideas about this topic. One of them is the empirical approach. Empirists believe that the language learning of small children is based on experience and on the stimuli of the surrounding enviroment only, so the consciousness of babies is 'tabula rasa'. However, the racionalist approach has a totally different idea about this. Their opinion is that infants are already born with a natural inner sense towards the basics of language and experience only helps in the development of these withborn abilities and this finally results in mastering the mother tounge. But the most interesting idea originates from Noam Chomsky: he merged these two conceptions and believed that children both have withborn abilities of understanding the basics of how grammar works and have 'expectations' about language (that is where the name of his thesys comes from: 'innata conception'), which makes these ideas universally usable. This universality allows children to acquire the grammatics of any given language.

Recently the 'durability' of these theories is tested by the examination of the process of creolization. Derek Bickerton examined the nature Creole languages and had nearly the same final conclusion as Chomsky. He has found that the attributes of these Creole languages are not adopted from other languages; but are created by a withborn 'language-creating program'.... Continue Reading