A grammatical description of the Noun Phrase in the English-lexicon Creole of St Vincent and the Grenadines
This study proposes a grammatical description of the noun phrase (NP) of the English-lexified creole of St Vincent and the Grenadines (VinC). VinC coexists with its superstrate and is at present linguistically unaccounted for. As a result, prior to the syntactic analysis, Chapter 1 of the study discusses the processes of creolisation that could account for the origin of VinC, based on historical documents. The second chapter offers a phonological analysis which gives a succinct presentation of the phonemic and accentual features of VinC. The alphabet recommended in this chapter, is intended to render the transcription of the examples provided in the study conform to the phonological nature of the creole.
The grammatical description itself, covered in chapters 3 to 5, hinges on the functionalist and structuralist frameworks, and sets out to describe the syntactic relations existing between the constituents of the NP. First, the features of the NP heads are analysed, then the left expansions of nouns, i.e. determiners and modifiers. Chapter 5 offers a unified analysis of the NP post-modifiers, i.e. relative clauses, complementizer clauses, prepositional clauses and noun complements.
The penultimate chapter focuses on the concept of reference and how it influences the choice of definite and indefinite determiners. Here, the study advocates an analysis based on the theory of familiarity and degree of identification from the hearer’s point of view that could account for definiteness and specificity: grammatical-semantic notions that often fall short in their analysis of the null determiner. Chapter 7 provides a concise summary of the findings.
Key words: creole, creolisation, definiteness, null determiner, genericity, grammatical description, plurality, post-modifier, proforms, relative clauses, reference, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, specificity, noun phrase.
ISBN 9783895864353. LINCOM Studies in Pidgin and Creole Linguistics 10. 308pp. 2010.