Creolization as a Cultural and Linguistic Event
Language is one very important aspect of the society and is the basis of communication, and without this, the essence of living won’t be in existence. Though time then languages may develop and through the man dialects, a new language may come up as a result of the fabrication of the same and the essence of coming up with culture. Most importantly, this is part of a cultural formation that leads to the emergence of dialects. Culture defines what people do and further still, defines how they interact with the way they will act with other people around them. Unlike a pidgin that is short lived and only used for self-justification, creole is a language that develops from different dialects and over time becomes a language dialect which is non-individual, the practice of language over a given period. This essay will thus focus on creolization as a cultural and linguistic event.
Through time, cultural interactions define the basis of human existence this is, however, an aspect of cultural dynamism that us only possibly when the cultures have something in common. Creolization, therefore, features creole cultures and resent communities all across the world and how evident each of their cultures are. In the event of cultural interaction, for example, there has to be a dominant expression of the superior facets of one dialect or culture that makes the other look more inferior and therefore the need to assimilate the others into the supposedly superior one. However the preservation of one’s cultural heritage is very important, and therefore a deviation from the original way of life may prove very costly since the loss of social, cultural and linguistic identity is very confusing.
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The world is going, and as such, there is a high potential that the assimilation of different cultural subdivisions a possibility. In the new world, therefore, means that the migrations and the interactions may lead to a sense of hybridization of the indigenous cultures and therefore creolization (Walcott, par 2, pg., 3). And in his words, the poet Decker considers making these languages a fragmented issue in that the pieces that have to be brought together have different historical origins and understanding them may give one a problem. And he notes that for instance in the building of the thighs of the gods, a lot of bamboos has to be used which comprises a complex process and thus the complexity of coming up with new dialects and most importantly, culture.
Ideally, when due to the deprivation of the original language people, the tribes, therefore, took “captive” there will thus develop a language that defines the time and the interactions. Imperatively, the lack of an ancestral genealogy for the subjects in question then means that there will arise a dissolution of the original language (Walcott, par 3, pg., 2). Names of things and places, therefore, have to be renamed according to the acceptance by the new found language. Just like the fragments that need to be brought together to come up with a new language, therefore, becomes essential. The partially remembered customs and traditions which are rather strong, thus give rise to creolization. The coming up together of these cultures as in the cities people is a linguistic event that cannot be ignored. It is, therefore, a combination of two or more dialects, the synthesis of this gives rise to the different expression, featuring the roots thus the birth of the language.
In the Caribbean coast, for example, the plantation America, the people, Mesoamericans, try to survive by trying to defend their cultural identity (Glissant, pg., 12). This is all in an effort try and minimize the effect of their colonizers who only took away their language but also their culture. Cultures are meant to be handed down from one generation to another, but unfortunately, with the existence of different preserved identities, there arises a challenge in the combining the two variables without altering the cultural alignments. As such, their people, therefore, means that there has to be a commonality of point whereby these people will work as a united people. Culture gives one an identity and therefore the fact that an individual needs to have a sense of belonging means that they have to subscribe to what they believe best defines who they are and thus creolization.
The sense of identity thus being the epicenter of every other culture, ethnicity, for example, spells it all out. There is only one way out in such scenario in that the dominant groups feel that they run things and that the existence of other, say hybrid society poses a threat to the integrity and identity of their way of living (Glissant, pg., 15). As a stop-gap measure, therefore, those classified as foreigners are thus sidelined. The implication of this is that those that get sidelined need to have where to belong, amid the negative perceptions from the dominant society. The Creoles, therefore, will attempt to trace their historical pasts to develop an identity that befits them.
Interestingly, Caribbean islands are home to a host of many cultures and people. Not forgetting that being a destination of any people that dock their ships there, these fragments that settle in this place will have to interact with and this makes it more exciting for cross-cultural interaction. Through the intermarriages that materialize, the generations that arise would even not know what their genealogy is and just have to abide by the prevailing trend (Walcott, par 3, pg., 8). And in a distorted way of communicating for example, at the port, a pedestrian would be referred to a passer and not a pedestrian due to the existence of a discordance of ascents and the fragments of the ancient languages. Subsequently, the travelers the commanded a lot of influence on the people such that the deviance from the original way of life and language was inescapable.
Conclusively, each of the world’s culture derives its origin from the belief that it has an ancestral genealogy whose origin is beyond reproach. Even though this is true, the fact that the evolution of cultures and languages is a reality which cannot be ignored. This is to say that creolization therefore as a cultural and linguistic event takes center stage in the evolution and the development of new cultures and languages. Evidently, this is through the interaction of some fragmented languages which lead to the formation of one supergroup that one can easily identify with.
With other creoles, therefore, becoming essentially superior to others and the sense of identity become a real problem, the conformity matter comes into question. The need not to be a misfit therefore in the society creates the impetus for creolization.
Glissant, Edouard. “Creolisation and the Americas.”? Caribbean quarterly? 57.1 (2011): 11-20.
Walcott, Derek. “The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory.”
Nobel Laureates In Search Of Identity And Integrity: Voices of Different Cultures? (2004)