By Andries W. Coetzee
Apr 21, 2013
The University of Michigan is a leader in the field of Creole Studies, in no small part due the presence of Professor Marlyse Baptista on our faculty. Marlyse is an internationally recognized creolist, as is evidenced by the many leadership positions that she occupies in the field. She is a member of the editorial board of three of the most important publications in the field of Creole Studies—The Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, The Journal of Portuguese and Spanish Lexically-Based Creoles, and the Creole Language Library book series published by John Benjamins. Marlyse is also the current president of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics.
It should therefore come as no surprise that Marlyse is a sought after presenter at conferences and colloquiums, both in the US and abroad. In March and April, Marlyse gave two presentations in Europe about her research on Cape Verdian Creole. Both of the presentations focused on the two most distinct varieties of Cape Verdian Creole, namely the varieties spoken on the islands of Santiago and São Vicente. Relying on the history of settlement patterns of these two islands, Marlyse traces the linguistic origins of the different patterns of Tense-Mood-Aspect marking in these two varieties. Her careful research shows the importance of interpreting linguistic patterns in creole languages in the light of historical evidence.
Marlyse's first presentation was given at the 19th Hispanistentag conference in Muenster, Germany (March 20-23, 2013). The title of her presentation was 'Traces of Contact in Creole Genesis: Accounting for Variation in a Complex Creole Continuum', and an abstract of her presentation is available here. Marlyse's second talk was an invited colloquium presented on April 12 at the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, University of Amsterdam. The title of this presentation was 'Continuum and variation in creoles: Out of many voices, one language', and its abstract is available here.