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Theories about the origin of pidgins 2. The Baby-Talk Theory 2. The independent parallel development theory 2.

The nautical jargon theory 2. Decreolization and recreolization- the life cycle of creoles 4. Social factors in pidgin and creoles 11 4. Social factors influencing Tok Pisin 5.

Pidgins and Creoles in literature 6. Bibliography 1. Pidgins Today, pidgins can be found on every continent. The hypothesis is that pidgins occur, if people, who speak mutually unintelligible languages, have come into contact. In fact, some languages are more fully adapted to a technological society than others, but at least all languages are able to adjust themselves to changing conditions.

Pidgins are reduced languages, characterized by having a limited vocabulary and a simple grammar, which serves to satisfy basic communication needs. The syntactic structure is less flexible and less complex than the structures of the languages, which were the contributors to the pidgin language.

A comparison between English and English-based pidgins shows, that the pidgin languages have deleted many of the inessential structures of the standard variety. For example, in English, there are two plurality markers e. Tok Pisin and Cameroon Pidgin, two pidgin languages which are English-based, mark plurality by the numeral only e.

A pidgin language in not the native tongue of anyone. It is only used as an auxiliary or supplemental language between two speech communities Todd, Loreto. In his opinion, everyone who can understand baby talk could understand a pidgin language. He and many other travellers noticed that pidgin speakers, as well as small children, could not pronounce the words as expected in the standard version of the language. A high proportion of content words, only a few function words and less rigidly established word classes are features of baby talk as well as of pidgin languages.

Nowadays, such an extreme viewpoint is rarely espoused. At least the theory fails to explain why the pidgin languages are not mutually intelligible with the languages they derive from, although they are baby —talk versions of them. Moreover the idea of the baby —talk theory is not able to explain, why the different pidgin languages are more similar to each other than to the languages from which their lexicons derive. For example, the sentence structure of Haitian Creole and Kamtok resemble each other to a higher degree than to the syntactic structure of the languages their lexicons are related to Todd, Loreto.

The independent parallel development theory Robert A. Hall jr. Robert, A. The nautical jargon theory The nautical jargon theory provides the idea that the lingual franca, spoken on sail-ships during the seventeenth century, influenced the language passed on to the people the sailors came in contact with.

This hypothesis explains the similarities and differences between the pidgin languages and creoles of the world. The similarities are due to the nucleus provided from the nautical jargon, the differences developed from influences exerted by different mother tongues. There are two facts, which could serve as proofs for this theory. On the other hand, there are lots of nautical elements in all pidgins and creoles with European Lexicons Todd, Loreto.

This pidgin was probably a relic of the medieval Lingua franca Sabir which was used by the multilingual Crusaders and Mediterranean traders. The supporters of this theory believe, that the Portuguese sailors used this language, when they sailed along the African west coast and wanted to come into contact with the inhabitants.

In fact, this lingua franca was the first European language, the Africans acquired. In the following centuries, the influence of the Portuguese declined and the speakers of the lingua franca aimed at a vocabulary expansion. Dependent of the region, French, Spanish and English influenced the language afterwards, so that one should rather speak of a "anglicised pidgin Portuguese" or a "gallicized pidgin Portuguese" Todd, Loreto.


Pidgins and Creoles by Loreto Todd (1990, Paperback, Revised)

What is Pidgin and What is Creole? What is Pidgin? The Oxford English Dictionary definition of Pidgin is: A language containing lexical and other features from two or more languages, characteristically with simplified grammar and a smaller vocabulary than the languages from which it is derived, used for communication between people not having a common language; a lingua franca. A pidgin is a reduced language used by groups with no language in common who need to communicate for trade or other purposes. A creole, by contrast, is a natural language developed from a mixture of different languages, like Haitian Creole, which is based on 18th-century French but absorbed elements of Portuguese, Spanish and West African languages.


Pidgins and Creoles

The term pidgin English "business English" , first attested in , shows the term in transition to referring to language, and by the s the term pidgin alone could refer to Pidgin English. The term was coming to be used in the more general linguistic sense represented by this article by the s. For example, the name of the creole language Tok Pisin derives from the English words talk pidgin. Its speakers usually refer to it simply as "pidgin" when speaking English. The term jargon has also been used to refer to pidgins, and is found in the names of some pidgins, such as Chinook Jargon.

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