In this volume the author describes and systematically accounts for language variation in a Creole-speaking community and assesses the implications the study has on generally accepted notions of the nature of language. Based on an extensive study of Guyana, South America, the volume analyses the bewildering diversity found in the syntax and underlying semantics of tense and aspect of the language of that country and shows that data which at first sight appear merely chaotic in fact represent different developmental stages of the language existing side by side in the contemporary community. The volume also offers strong support for theories of Creole origins of 'Black English' in the United States. It should be of interest not only to those linguists involved in Creole and pidgin studies but also to anyone concerned with general linguistic theory.
Acknowledgements; 1. Problems in the description of creole systems; 2. The basilectal verb-phrase; 3. From basilect to mesolect; 4. From mesolect to acrolect; 5. Implications for linguistic theory; Appendices 1-3; Bibliography; Index.