Tag Archives: Robbert van Sluijs

Van Sluijs about change or variation in historical data

In this article, which was already published in December 2014, Robbert van Sluijs focuses on the Virgin Island Dutch Creole imperfective and prospective aspect markers LE and LO. Does the distribution of these markers reflect language change between the eighteenth and twentieth century ? Or is it due to sociolinguistic variation?

Read the article here.

Morphology Meeting 2013, Contribution by Robbert van Sluijs

Morphology Meeting 2013


Friday, December 13th, 2013 the Morphology Meeting (de Morfologiedagen) will be held at the Fryske Akademy in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.

The Fryske Akademy, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year, will host this edition of the Morphology Meeting (de Morfologiedagen).

The conference provides a forum for scientific debate about all possible aspects of especially Dutch and Frisian morphology. The working languages will be Dutch and English.

The day program you can find here.

You can subscribe here.

For more information: Eric Hoekstra ehoekstra@fryske-akademy.nl


Contribution by Robbert van Sluijs (Radboud University Nijmegen):

Past time reference marking in Negerhollands 
Robbert van Sluijs (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
Negerhollands is an overseas, creole variety of South-Western coastal Dutch (West- Flemish, Zealandic), that was spoken on the former Danish West Indies, the current US Virgin Islands. A typical Caribbean creole feature is the occurrence of both overt and zero pasts, attested in Negerhollands too (Graves 1977, Van Diggelen 1978, Stolz 1986, Sabino 1986, Bruyn & Veenstra 1993). The morphological expression of past time reference in NH is preverbal (h)a, but the bare verb is used as a past tense as well. Quantitative variationist studies in a number of English-lexified creoles have shown that this variation is not random. Following up on these results, in this paper I investigate the impact of factors such as narrative discourse function, aspect, and syntactic priming on the expression of past time reference in 20th century Negerhollands through a quantitative variationist study of De Josselin de Jong’s (1926) Negerhollands data collection. The results show that the factors conditioning past time reference marking in Negerhollands resemble those in other creole languages, but with an entirely different outcome: Whereas other creoles typically use zero pasts, Negerhollands typically uses overt pasts, even surpassing Standard English in its overt past rate in narratives. Assuming that Negerhollands overt past rate used to be more similar to that of other creoles, the overgeneralization of overt pasts in perfective situations is best interpreted as an effect of language death.