Grammaticalization in Seychelles Creole: the coding of reciprocity by kanmarad


  • Sibylle Kriegel Aix Marseille Univ


Seychelles Creole (SC) is one of the few creoles with a grammaticalized reciprocity marker. The grammaticalized use of kanmarad (< Fr. camarade ‘comrade, companion’) is mentioned in the grammars of SC (Bollée 1977; Corne 1977; Choppy 2009) but its evolution and distribution in modern SC have never been analyzed. This contribution first presents present-day data from spoken and written corpora of SC and compares them to data published in the Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures, APiCS (Michaelis & al. 2013). Appealing to several grammaticalization mechanisms discussed in the literature, it then traces back the grammaticalization process of kanmarad, a process that is not very advanced in the closely related Mauritian Creole (MC). In accordance with Michaelis & Haspelmath (2020), the evolution of kanmarad in SC can be considered to be an instance of accelerated functionalization which the authors consider to be typical of creole languages. Ultimately, the study’s findings are discussed in light of two complementary hypotheses that try to explain the acceleration of functionalization: the Extra-Transparency Hypothesis (Haspelmath & Michaelis 2017) and the Distinction during Codification Hypothesis which I suggest for SC. Both are considered to be possible factors favoring an ordinary language-internal grammaticalization process.


accelerated functionalization, Distinction during Codification Hypothesis, Extra-Transparency Hypothesis, grammaticalization, Mauritian Creole, reciprocity, Seychelles Creole


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