Vol. 4 (2018)

General Locative Marking in Martinican Creole (Matinitjè): A Case Study in Grammatical Economy

Anne Zribi-Hertz
Jean-Louis Loïc
Université Paris 8
Published September 17, 2018
  • Creole formation,
  • General Locative Marking,
  • Goal/Source (In) diff erence,
  • locative predictions,
  • Martinican Creole
How to Cite
Zribi-Hertz, A., & Loïc, J.-L. (2018). General Locative Marking in Martinican Creole (Matinitjè): A Case Study in Grammatical Economy. Quaderni Di Linguistica E Studi Orientali, 4, 151 - 176. https://doi.org/10.13128/QULSO-2421-7220-23843


Th is article bears on General Locative Marking (GLM), as exemplifi ed in Martinican Creole (MQ): the surface homonymy of phrases denoting Goal, Source and Stative Location. With a few languages as comparative background, we explore in some detail the expression of stative location and directional predications in MQ, breaking down GLM into two independent homonymies – Place/Goal, and Goal/Source. The first homonymy is not a Creole innovation since it obtains in French and various West-African languages. The Goal/Source homonymy, an MQ innovation with respect to French, is attested in some West-African languages but also in Indian-Ocean Creoles (whose Non-European features are not West-African), and assumedly results from the general non-survival of French "de" in French-Based-Creole lexicons (Syea 2017), an expected development under general patterns of unguided L2-acquisition (Klein & Perdue 1997). On the other hand, the licensing of Goal and Source arguments by directional verbs in serial-verb constructions is likely to be of West-African origin. MQ thus appears as a good illustration of the hybrid nature of Creole grammars (Mufwene 2001, 2010; Aboh 2015), involving the recombination of European and Non-European features under general laws of language change and grammatical economy.