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Lexification (a pun)

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Saturday, October 13, 2001, 19:51
In a message dated 10/13/01 8:31:04 AM, kmgaughan@EIRCOM.NET writes:

<< > What's relexification? (Sorry, I'm confused!)

It means disposing of a language's vocabulary and putting in your own in its
place. That's what most people do in their first naive attempts at a conlang.
There's nothing wrong with that though, everybody does it at least once. >>

    Not this guy!  ;)
    To put it in a real world context, relexification occurs in prolonged
contact situations where a Pidgin forms, in which the substrate group keeps
their own syntax relatively in tact while replacing their own lexicon with
that of the superstrate language.  A quick example:

Ewe:        avu          ma      le  tsa      yi           xo        te
English:   the dog   that    is   walk  go   at   house  under
Sranan:    a dagu    dati     e   waka  go  na   oso      ondro

    "That dog is walking under the house."

    Sranan is a creole spoken in Suranam, and those who formed it originally
spoke Ewe (a west African language), which was then relexified by English
(eventually).  So, despite the absence of the locative marker in Ewe, the
morphemes correspond exactly, whereas the words themselves are drawn from
English (except for "na", and I forget where my prof. said that came from...)