[lg policy] 'Haitian' or 'Haitian Creole'?

Dave Sayers dave.sayers at CANTAB.NET
Wed Jan 12 16:37:51 UTC 2011

[Copying my response from when Damien earlier put this up on 
ling-ethnog at jiscmail.ac.uk - additional apologies for cross-posting...]

Trouble is, refusing to use the word Creole kinda goes along with the 
idea that Creoles are substandard, something that nobody wants to be 
speaking, far better to upgrade to a Language, etc.

I mean, the term Creole is a useful linguistic categorisation and it's 
unlikely to go away; so it might be wiser (if countering stigma is the 
name of the game) to try and turn things around and invest Creole with a 
new prestige all its own.

Here are some actual references (much more useful than my ramblings): 
Siegel (2001:184), Mufwene (1997:53), Lefebvre (2004:341-4).

Lefebvre, C. (2004). Issues in the Study of Pidgin and Creole Languages. 
Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Mufwene, S. (1997). ‘Jargons, pidgins, creoles, and koinés: What are 
they?’ In A. Spears & D. Winford (eds.), The Structure and Status of 
Pidgins and Creoles, Amsterdam: John Benjamins (pp.35-70).
Siegel, J. (2001). ‘Koine formation and creole genesis’. In N. Smith & 
T. Veenstra (eds.), Creolization and Contact, Amsterdam: John Benjamins 


Dr. Dave Sayers
Honorary Research Fellow
School of the Environment and Society
Swansea University
dave.sayers at cantab.net

On 19:59, Damien Hall wrote:
> Apologies for cross-postings. This message has just appeared on the 
> http://linguistlist.org/issues/22/22-188.html
> Damien
> =================
> Date: 11-Jan-2011
> From: Hyppolite Pierre <hpierre at irsp.org>
> Subject: Language Name: Haitian instead of Haitian Creole
> My name is Hyppolite Pierre and I am Haitian-American. I am very
> interested in the debate about the way we call the language. In fact, I
> absolutely refuse to call the language "Haitian Creole" and instead, I
> simply call it "Haitian", which I believe is the appropriate term.
> Could you point me to any other scholarly material where linguists like
> yourselves use the term "Haitian" as well?
> I am glad that there is a growing body of scholars and intellectuals who
> see and understand the danger in calling the language "Haitian
> Creole", but would like to know of any other links, scholarly materials,
> and intellectuals who also call the language "Haitian".
> I know among others, that Jean Price-Mars, Pradel Pompilus and
> also Maximilien Laroche preferred the term "Haitian". I also know that
> Roger Savain and Michel Rolph Trouillot have done the same. Are
> there any others?
> This is a very serious and "live" debate that can benefit Haiti, and I
> would love to know more about it.
> Very best to you,
> Hyppolite Pierre
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