Creole Languages

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Creole Languages


languages that developed from the elements of incompletely assimilated European languages as a result of the internation linguistic communication of the European colonists with Africans, Indians, and the inhabitants of the countries of the Orient.

The major Creoles are (1) Portuguese-based—the creolized languages of Cape Verde, São Tome, and Principe (on the Atlantic coast of Africa) and Papiamentu (on Curaçao and Aruba, islands off the coast of Venezuela belonging to the Netherlands); (2) French-based—the languages of Haiti, the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, and part of the Dominican Republic; one of the two creole languages of Trinidad; and the creole languages of French Guiana and the islands of Mauritius and Réunion (Indian Ocean); (3) English-based—Sranan Tonga, Saramakkan, and Djuka in Surinam; the creole languages of Guyana; the disappearing Creoles of the Hawaiian Islands; the Creoles of Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas; the second creole language of Trinidad; and the Krio language in Freetown (Sierra Leone); Neo-Melanesian Creole (northeastern New Guinea) and the Creoles of the Solomon Islands are developing on the basis of Beach-la-mar (Melanesian Pidgin English); the creole language known as Gullah is still spoken by Negroes on the islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia; (4) Dutch-based— on the Virgin Islands (USA).

Although the creole languages underwent a certain substratum influence of African and other languages, almost all the morphemes of these languages (including all grammatical markers) stem from European languages. Therefore, the notion held in the past that creole (or creolized) languages are “hybrid,” or “mixed” languages, has been discarded by most scholars.


DolgopoPskii, A. B. “Protiv oshibochnoi kontseptsii ’gibridnykh’ iazykov. (O kreol’skikh narechiiakh).” Uch. zap. 1 Mosk. gos. ped. instituta inostr. iazykov, 1955, vol. 7.
Proceedings of the Conference on Creole Language Studies. London-New York, 1961.
Stewart, W. “Creole Languages in the Caribbean.” In the collection Study of the Role of Second Languages in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Washington, 1962.
Whinnom, K. “The Origin of the European-based Creoles and Pidgins.” Orbis, 1965, vol. 14, no. 2.
De Camp, D. “The Field of Creole Language Studies.” Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 1968, vol. 1, nos. 1–2, pp. 30–51.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Instead, he advocated an approach termed "Bidialectal Education" that takes into account and actively raises awareness about the sociocultural and linguistic distinctiveness of creole languages and English while at the same time acknowledging the existence of overlap, or rather similarities, between the two systems.
In the 11 essays collected here, contributors in linguistics, anthropology, Creole languages, African studies, Native American studies, and Caribbean history look at language practices in Suriname through the lens of identity construction, mobility patterns, and multilingualism.
The depiction of historical figures such as Manuel Piar, the role of popular music styles such as Tumba, and the contested place of the creole languages Papiamentu in Curacao and Sranan in Suriname provide the basis for an analysis of the phenomenon of 'diglossia' in the Dutch Antilles.
Not only did they change and simplify Dutch grammar to make communication easier in what was the lingua franca of the time, but words, especially in relation to food and household items, were also added from their own Malay and Portuguese creole languages.
Furthermore, Holm (2004:47) adds that "certain features of the nonstandard variety [of Brazilian Portuguese] indicate the influence of Amerindian, African, and creole languages."
For example Holm (2000), An Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles, attempts a comprehensive evaluation of important aspects of Pidgin and Creole languages, ranging from the relationship over time between the languages, on the one hand, and linguistics (the branch of learning whose object ought to be the study of languages from an analytical, empirical and scientific point of view), to such other fundamental aspects of the language as the intricacies of terminology and the development of theory.