Prosody and Intonation in Two French-Based Creoles: Haitian and Guadeloupean


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation research uses experimental methods for the study of prosody and intonation in two Caribbean creoles: Haitian and Guadeloupean. The goals are to record primary linguistic data, perform acoustic analysis, describe the tonal patterns, and analyze the intonation-pragmatics interface in the two languages in a comparative perspective. This study describes the characteristics of the prosodic systems in these two languages; determines whether French-based creoles share common characteristics in terms of prosody and intonation; and provides insight into the destiny of African tonal systems as the speakers of these strikingly different languages learned the stressless and toneless lexicon of French.