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POST-CREOLE CONTINUUM

POST-CREOLE CONTINUUM A chain of language varieties which arises linking a CREOLE (also known as the BASILECT) to its SUPERSTRATE language (also known as the ACROLECT) via intermediate varieties referred to collectively as the MESOLECT: for example, the Jamaican post-creole continuum, ranging from Jamaican creole proper to a Jamaican standard English based on standard BrE. The following are Guyanese English Creole forms for standard English I gave him: Basilect Mi gii am; Mesolect A giv im; Acrolect A geev him. The differences between coexistent varieties in such a continuum are generally greater than might be expected in a community with ‘normal’ processes of dialect formation, particularly in terms of the amount and degree of syntactic and semantic variation. A post-creole continuum may develop when, after a period of relatively independent linguistic development, a post-pidgin or post-creole variety comes under a period of renewed influence from the superstrate (the relexifier language, or principal source of vocabulary). This is generally described as decreolization.

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