The Interaction of Declarative & Procedural Memory in the Process of Creolization: The Case of Sierra Leone Krio

  • MA Finney


This paper is an exposition of learning models of declarative and procedural memory and its application in the fields of first and second language acquisition and by extension Creole genesis. It provides detailed information on the Declarative/Procedural (DP) Model of Memory and how the model can be used to account for the process of creolization. Both declarative and procedural memories,sometimes associated with explicit/conscious or  implicit/unconscious learning respectively, are proposed to play a significant role in daily human learning  experiences, including the acquisition of languages. Thedevelopment and utilization of first and subsequent  languages are proposed to be governed to a large extent by the declarative and procedural memory systems,  which interact in complex ways to generate words, phrases, and sentences during verbal (and to some extent  written) communication. The paper adopts the substrate view of creolization as a process of second language  acquisition and highlights how shared linguistic memory (declarative and procedural), cultural backgrounds, and  experience in re-enslavement West African communities helped develop and reshape the primary medium of  communication (Creole languages) among slaves and their descendants during and after the period of  enslavement. The process of creolization is discussed at length to underscore parallels with the process of second language acquisition, and in effect, to demonstrate how the process of creolization and the linguistic properties of emerging Creoles can be accounted for as an interaction of declarative and procedural memory.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502