Forthcoming: Mauritian verb morphology at linguistic interfaces

Fabiola Henri  


This volume addresses the phenomenon of verb alternation in Mauritian, a French-based creole spoken on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, detailing for the first time their complex distribution as used in lexeme-formation, in syntax and in the encoding of information-structural relations. Mauritian long and short verb forms, hitherto considered purely phonological, is here analyzed as a purely morphological alternation, that is, one which despite being neither phonologically predictable nor featurally coherent is unquestionably systemic. The analysis appeals to empirical evidence that the author mostly collected herself, covering among other types of contributions, sociohistorical factors, diachronic sources, lexical databases and corpora, to provide a comprehensive account of the reorganization of the lexifier’s verb system and its subsequent exaptation in Mauritian. In the process, Fabiola Henri offers a novel perspective of morphological change and complexity in creoles using insights from implicative word and paradigm approaches to morphology.

Fabiola Henri, University of Kentucky

Fabiola Henri studied Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Paris Diderot. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Kentucky. Her research primarily focuses on morphology in creole languages from the perspective of recent abstractive models, with insights from both information-theoretic and discriminative learning. Additional areas of investigation are syntax, semantics and information-structure. Her publications mainly cover romance-based creoles, in particular Mauritian, offering an empirically-grounded perspective of language change and a view on linguistic complexity which starkly contrasts with ‘exceptionalist’ theories of creolization.

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