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Mauritian Creole Reflexives

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In the process of pidginization and creolization that occurred in the 18th century, Mauritian Creole (Mau) did not retain the atonic clitics of French. In consequence, morphologically marked reflexives were lost, or paraphrased in various ways using especially the lexical item lekor 'body'. Where French uses a tonic pronoun (in the imperative), early Mau retained the structure. Continuing French semantactic influence reintroduced pronouns (derived from French tonic pronouns), at least in the usage of writers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and in modern times, due to an evolving society, in the usual speech of increasing numbers of speakers. The result, i.e., the use of unmarked object pronouns to handle reflexivity, is typolog-ically a rather unusual pattern.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1988


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