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950LANGUAGE, VOLUME 60, NUMBER 4 (1984) REFERENCES Andersen, Roger. 1983 (ed.) Pidginization and creolization as language acquisition. Rowley, MA: Newbury House. Bickerton, Derek. 1975. Dynamics of a creóle system. Cambridge: University Press. ----- . 1976. Pidgin and creóle studies. Annual Review of Anthropology 5.169-93. ----- . 1977. Creole syntax. Final Report on NSF Grant No. GS-39748, vol. 2. Honolulu: University of Hawaii. ------ . 1979. Beginnings. The genesis of language, ed. by Kenneth C. Hill, 1-22. Ann Arbor: Karoma. ----- . 1981. Roots of language. Ann Arbor: Karoma. Chaudenson, Robert. 1974. Le lexique du parler créole de la Réunion. Paris: Champion. ------. 1979a. À propos de la genèse du créole mauricien: Le peuplement de l'île de France de 1721 à 1735. Études Créoles 2.43-57. ------ . 1979b. Les créoles français. Paris: Nathan. ----- . 1982. Review of Bickerton 1981. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 5.82-102. DecAMP, David. 1971. Introduction: The study of pidgin and creóle languages. Pidginization and creolization of languages, ed. by Dell Hymes, 13-39. CambridgeUniversity Press. Meisel, Jürgen M. 1983. Review of Bickerton 1981. To appear in Lingua. Rickford, John R. 1979. Variation in a creóle continuum: Quantitative and implicational approaches. University of Pennsylvania dissertation. Sankoff, Gillian, and Penelope Brown. 1976. The origins of syntax in discourse. Lg. 52.631-66. Sankoff, Gillian, and Suzanne Laberge. 1974. On the acquisition of native speakers by a language. Pidgins and creóles: Current trends and prospects, ed. by David DeCamp & Ian Hancock, 61-72. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. [Received 1 September 1983.] Connaissance et emploi des langues à l'île Maurice. By Peter Stein. (Kreolische Bibliothek, 2.) Hamburg: Buske, 1982. Pp. xxii, 661. Reviewed by Chris Corne, University ofAuckland This massively impressive survey of the sociolinguistics of Mauritius provides what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and detailed survey of language use in any multilingual but basically creole-speaking community. Language use, and the concomitant question of language instrumentalization, is a burning issue in Mauritius, and this objective survey by an outsider with no axe to grind cannot but have an influence of the kind usually accorded to governmental select committees and white papers. For this reason, the book's only important flaw is potentially the more serious. There have been other surveys of Mauritius (the most recent is Chaudenson 1979, devoted to an examination of the place of French in the community), but Stein's is the first one based on the widespread use ofa detailed questionnaire— which, with related matters, is described at length in Chap. 4 (247-75). S begins that chapter by justifying his decision to paint the most comprehensive canvas possible. The questionnaire covers language knowledge and language use, as well as age, sex, religion, occupational details, schooling, residence, ethnic- REVIEWS951 ity—all of which can have a determining influence on language. S carefully describes the composition of his sample (720 people), and discusses this in relation to the parameters included in his questionnaire. Aware of the political sensitivity of language use, S approached most of his Mauritian consultants via personal introductions (cf. 271), rather than relying on random sampling techniques. This allowed him to maintain an uncontroversial profile, but has led to a skewed sample: Hindus under-represented, Chinese and Francophones over-represented. S is of course aware of this problem in his sample, and therefore in his results; and he attempts to provide in his discussions (e.g. 504 ff.) a more balanced picture than emerges from his statistics (e.g. Table 7.8, p. 545). Nonetheless, the end result is that the book over-emphasizes the role of French, and demotes the importance of Mauritian Bhojpuri and other Indian languages. Though this flaw is regrettable, and politically exploitable in various ways, it does not affect the over-all accuracy of S's portrayal of the linguistic behavior and trends observable in the population as a whole (e.g. the greater knowledge of French, as opposed to English). What is crucial, in the context of language instrumentalization, is S's overwhelmingly irrefutable evidence of the central role of Creole on a community-wide basis, in informal (if not formal) situations. The book begins with an 'Introduction' (1-67...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 950-953
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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