Haitian Creole linguistics


This paper is a capstone assignment that asks you to use the linguistic tools you have developed throughout the course to evaluate claims about language varieties that some believe do not carry prestige. You will be asked to use linguistic evidence to argue against claims that creole languages are inferior or “broken” forms of languages that carry more prestige such as English or French. These negative views of creole languages can have devastating consequences; we will consider the situation in Haiti in detail. In Haiti, about 90% of the population is monolingual in Haitian Creole, but until recently, children were educated and instructed to read only in French. Many have argued that the education system, which teaches and tests children in a language that they do not know, has been a major contributing factor in Haiti’s extremely low literacy levels and very high levels of poverty (see DeGraff, 2016). The goal of this assignment is to use linguistic evidence to show that the claims that Haitian Creole is a form of “broken French” or is an inferior language because it is a ‘hybrid language’ are not justified. You can use both the lecture materials and the readings listed below to support your argument.

Homework 7 Description & Requirements LING/ANTH 106

States and explains the relevant information and background for understanding the issue
Three pieces of evidence are presented and discussed in detail as counterexamples to the
claim that Haitian Creole is a ‘broken’ language.
The evidence you present is consistent with your argument.
Provides a thoughtful consideration of a linguist’s view of language variation and
language diversity.
Your viewpoint on issues of language variation and language diversity is presented in
context of what we have discussed in class.
The paper is written clearly, has been proofread, and is presented professionally.
The paper meets the minimum page requirements.
In your introductory paragraph, provide an overview of the linguistic situation in Haiti and explain why it is important to consider language attitudes towards creole languages such as Haitian Creole. (16 points)
In the body of your paper, use the tools of linguistic analysis to show why claims that Haitian Creole is a form of ‘broken French’ or is an inferior language because it is a ‘hybrid language’ are not justified. (40 points overall for this section)
Provide three specific counterexamples to these claims using linguistic evidence. Your counterexamples should explain specific linguistic properties of Haitian Creole as discussed in the required readings.
You must provide specific examples in Haitian Creole and explain those examples to receive full credit. See the guidelines on the next page for how to include a linguistic example in a paper. These examples should be typed and should not be screen shots from books or articles.
Make sure to discuss how each of your three counterexamples relate to the claim that Haitian Creole is a ‘broken’ or inferior language.
You can use evidence/argumentation discussed in the class lectures and in the Readings given below (see DeGraff, 2009 in particular).
In a concluding paragraph, provide a logical conclusion which takes into account the evidence provided above (16 points). In addition, be sure to discuss (a) the broader implications of language attitudes towards stigmatized language varieties with respect to society overall (16 points) and (b) what your own perspective is on this issue given what you have learned in class this semester and read for the assignment (12 points). Compare and contrast your views with what we have read and discussed. (44 points total)
4. References: list in APA style (see below) the references that you used to write your paper.


You do not have to divide your paper into sections, but you should address each of the sections above in separate paragraphs. The paper should be at least one full page single-spaced/two pages double-spaced and no more than 1.5 pages single-spaced/three pages double-spaced (not including linguistic examples or references). Use Times New Roman, 11/12 pt. font, 1-inch margins.

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