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A pidgin language is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups that do not have a language in common, in situations such as trade, or where both groups speak languages different to the language of the country in which they reside (but there is no common language between the groups). A 'pidgin' language is, fundamentally, a simplified means of linguistic communication, as is constructed inpromptu, or by convention, between groups of people. A 'pidgin' language is not the native language of any speech community, but is instead learnt as a second language.[1][2] A 'Pidgin' language may be built from words, sounds, or body language from multiple other languages / cultures. 'Pidgin' languages usually have low prestige with respect to other languages.[3]

Not all simplified or "broken" forms of a language (patois) are 'pidgin'. Each 'pidgin' language has its own norms of usage which must be learnt to speak the 'pidgin' language well.[4]

Contents

Etymology

The origin of the word pidgin is uncertain. The first time pidgin appeared in print was in 1850 and there are many sources from which the word may be derived. For example:

Terminology

The word pidgin, formerly also spelled pigion,[6] originally used to describe Chinese Pidgin English, was later generalized to refer to any pidgin.[7] Pidgin may also be used as the specific name for local pidgins or creoles, in places where they are spoken. For example, the name of Tok Pisin derives from the English words talk pidgin, and its speakers usually refer to it simply as "Pidgin" when speaking English.[citation needed]

The term jargon has also been used to describe pidgins, and is found in the names of some pidgins such as Chinook Jargon. In this context, linguists today use jargon to denote a particularly rudimentary type of pidgin;[8] however, this usage is rather rare, and the term jargon most often refers to the words particular to a given profession.

Pidgins may start out as or become trade languages, such as Tok Pisin; but trade languages are often full blown languages in their own right such as Swahili, Persian, or English.[clarification needed] Trade languages tend to be "vehicular languages", while pidgins can evolve into the vernacular.[clarification needed]

Common traits among pidgin languages

Since a 'pidgin' language strives to be a simple and effective form of communication, the grammar and phonology are usually as simple as possible, and usually consist of:

Pidgin development

The creation of a pidgin usually requires:

  • Prolonged, regular contact between the different language communities
  • A need to communicate between them
  • An absence of (or absence of widespread proficiency in) a widespread, accessible interlanguage

Also, Keith Whinnom (in Hymes (1971)) suggests that pidgins need three languages to form, with one (the superstrate) being clearly dominant over the others.

It is often posited that pidgins become creole languages when a generation whose parents speak pidgin to each other teach it to their children as their first language. Creoles can then replace the existing mix of languages to become the native language of a community (such as Krio in Sierra Leone and Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea). However, not all pidgins become creole languages; a pidgin may die out before this phase would occur.

Other scholars, such as Salikoko Mufwene, argue that pidgins and creoles arise independently under different circumstances, and that a pidgin need not always precede a creole nor a creole evolve from a pidgin. Pidgins, according to Mufwene, emerged among trade colonies among "users who preserved their native vernaculars for their day-to-day interactions". Creoles, meanwhile, developed in settlement colonies in which speakers of a European language, often indentured servants whose language would be far from the standard in the first place, interacted heavily with non-European slaves, absorbing certain words and features from the slaves' non-European native languages, resulting in a heavily basilectalized version of the original language. These servants and slaves would come to use the creole as an everyday vernacular, rather than merely in situations in which contact with a speaker of the superstrate was necessary.[9]

See also

Notes

External links

Language Varieties Web Site

References

  • Bakker, Peter (1994), "Pidgins", in Jacques Arends; Pieter Muysken; Norval Smithh, Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction, John Benjamins, pp. 26–39 
  • Hymes,, Dell (1971), Pidginization and Creolization of Languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-07833-4 
  • McWhorter, John (2002). The Power of Babel: The Natural History of Language. Random House Group. ISBN 0-06-052085-X. 
  • Sebba, Mark (1997). Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles. MacMillan. ISBN 0-333-63024-6. 
  • Thomason, Sarah G.; Kaufman, Terrence (1988), Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-07893-4 
  • Todd, Loreto (1990), Pidgins and Creoles, Routledge, ISBN 0415053110 
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Contents

English

Etymology

From pigeon English, from a Chinese attempt to pronounce the English word business during trades in the Far East.

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
pidgin

Plural
pidgins

pidgin (plural pidgins)

  1. (linguistics) an amalgamation of two disparate languages, used by two populations having no common language as a lingua franca to communicate with each other, lacking formalized grammar and having a small, utilitarian vocabulary and no native speakers.
    Middle English likely began as a pidgin between the Norman invaders and the Anglo-Saxon-speaking (Old English) occupants of Britain. Otherwise, how could they have gotten any business done?

Translations

Related terms

See also

External links


Simple English

The birds are spelled pigeon The instant messaging client is here.

A pidgin is a simplified language. Pidgins usually develop because two groups of people need to talk to each other but do not speak the same language.[1][2] Pidgins are not usually as complicated as many other languages.[3]

Not all simple or "broken" forms of language are pidgins. Pidgins have rules which a person must learn to speak the pidgin well.[4] Countries that use pidgin languages as their official languages include Papua New Guinea,Jamaica and some other Caribbean and Central American countries.

References

  • Bakker, Peter (1994), "Pidgins", in Jacques Arends, Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction, John Benjamins
  • Hymes,, Dell (1971), Pidginization and Creolization of Languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-07833-4
  • McWhorter, John (2002). The Power of Babel: The Natural History of Language. Random House Group. ISBN 0-06-052085-X. 
  • Sebba, Mark (1997). Contact Languages: Pidgins and Creoles. MacMillan. ISBN 0-333-63024-6. 
  • Kaufman, Terrence (1988), Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics (first ed.), Berkely: University of California Press
  • Todd, Loreto (1990), Pidgins and Creoles, Routledge, ISBN 0415053110

Notes


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