• It is the product of a multilingual situation in which those who wish to communicate must find or improvise a simple language system. • Limited functions (esp. trade, lingua franca) • No native speakers (nobody’s mother tongue) • Contact language involving at least two, often three different language groups (superstratum and substratum languages) • Very often, there is an imbalance of power among the languages. The speakers of one language dominate the speakers of the other languages economically and socially. • The superstratum language supplies most of vocabulary • The substratum language supplies much of the grammar (variable depending on the speaker)
Expanded Pidgins • Pidgins usually have limited life-span; can die out when the interactions that they serve end (e.g., the end of a trade route, slave labour) • Pidgins will survive longer if at least two substratum language groups are involved. • E.g. Non-European language groups not in frequent contact with each other until arrival of trans-oceanic trade continued to use the Pidgins created. • English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, Hindi (Haflong Hindi and Andaman Hindustani)
Expanded Pidgins • So the pidgin becomes a link language among the non-Europeans, who sometimes continue to develop and use it after the Europeans have left • True in many West African countries and South Pacific islands • So it can become an expanded pidgin, like the Nigerian pidgin Genesis, and remain in wide use. • Grammar and vocabulary expand as types of interactions become broader and more complex. • But still no native speakers.
Hawaiian Pidgin Labour brought into Hawaiian sugar plantations from Japan, Korea, Phillipines, Puerto Rico. No consistent word order, no prefixes/suffixes, no tense or other temporal markers, no complex clauses etc.)
Pidgin - Creole Origins • Under certain circumstances, expanded pidgins can start to have native speakers. When speakers of the pidgin marry and/or have children, those children grow up with other children having similar language backgrounds. • As they grow up and the language is increasingly used for a broad range of activities (education, music, religion), it becomes more complex in terms of grammar, vocabulary, and discourse. • The pidgin has now developed into a creole , which is “the mother tongue of a community.” • Creoles can become dominant languages of communities and even post- colonial nations: Jamaica Creole, Haitian Creole • Creoles often co-exist with the standard dialect of a former colonial European language, which may remain the language of power/government.
Creoles • A Creole is defined as a pidgin that has become the first language of a new generation of speaker s, i.e., creoles arise when pidgins become mother tongues.
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- Spring '16
- Ravi Banavar
- Hamlet, Pidgin, Standard language, pidgins