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pidgin (pĭjˈən), a lingua franca that is not the mother tongue of anyone using it and that has a simplified grammar and a restricted, often polyglot vocabulary. The earliest documented pidgin is the Lingua Franca (or Sabir) that developed among merchants and traders in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages; it remained in use through the 19th cent. Other known pidgins have been employed in different regions since the 17th cent. An example is the variety of pidgin English that resulted from contacts between English traders and the Chinese in Chinese ports. In fact, the word pidgin supposedly is a Chinese (Cantonese) corruption of the English word business. Another well-known form of pidgin English is the Beach-la-Mar (or Bêche-de-Mer) of the South Seas. The different kinds of pidgin English have preserved the basic grammatical features of English, at the same time incorporating a number of non-English syntactical characteristics. The great majority of words in pidgin English are of English origin, but there are also Malay, Chinese, and Portuguese elements. As a result of European settlers bringing to the Caribbean area large numbers of slaves from West Africa who spoke different languages, other pidgins evolved in that region that were based on English, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and Spanish. Examples of pidgins based on non-European languages are Chinook, once used by Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, and Lingua Gêral, based on a Native American language and used in Brazil. The Krio language of Sierra Leone and Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea are examples of creoles, pidgins that have acquired native speakers. See also creole language.


See D. Hymes, ed., Pidginization and Creolization of Languages (1971); J. Holm, Pidgins and Creoles (2 vol., 1988–89) and An Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles (2000); S. Romaine, Pidgin and Creole Languages (1988).

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References in periodicals archive ?
'The cities are near the sea.' This is also problematic, since Group C does not have French as the main contact language. In order to argue that French has influenced the speech of the younger generation, one can assume that the contact features have spread throughout the speech community, even in domains and speakers who are not proficient in the L2.
Considered as a contact language, it appears to be a typological oxymoron.
Depending on their local relative importance, the number of their speakers, the non-dominant languages can be home languages helping their speakers to maintain their feeling of ethnic identity and pride, or they can be local municipal administrative languages, or lingue franche and trade languages over a more extended area, or more widely used and understood contact languages of considerable importance which can function as secondary major languages in parts of the country.
The fact that Dolgan, as a known contact language of Nganasan, shows a similar distribution of the copula in present and past tense context which differs from Selkup is indeed intriguing.
Both in Estonian and Finnish, means of expressing the future were needed in the translation and writing of religious texts; all of them represent abrupt innovations following the patterns of the contact languages. The Estonian saama and the Finnish on tekeva futures occur in the contemporary language; both of them have a restricted sphere of use and are characteristic of high style.
to examine briefly how the personal pronoun systems of thirteen English lexicon contact languages deviate from the English system;
Says Payodhi, "I strongly feel that there is a communication gap between government functionaries and tribal communities due to absence of contact language. Functional literacy of tribal dialects would help remove linguistic blockage."
The problem with these explanations is that there is no precise method to assess whether a substrate influence that is linguistically possible, could actually have initiated the corresponding change in the contact language (see Laakso 1999).
The comparative method of historical linguistics provides a tool by which to adduce the likely contact languages for Austronesian loan words in TS-CYP.
However, the documentation he presents shows that certain special innovative developments have taken place and can be explained by the sociolinguistic status of the speakers, many of whom are bilingual or trilingual and are influenced by the two dominating contact languages, Chinese and Uyghur.