pidgin

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pidgin

(pĭj`ən), a lingua francalingua franca
, an auxiliary language, generally of a hybrid and partially developed nature, that is employed over an extensive area by people speaking different and mutually unintelligible tongues in order to communicate with one another.
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 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 languagecreole language
, any language that began as a pidgin but was later adopted as the mother tongue by a people in place of the original mother tongue or tongues. Examples are the Gullah of South Carolina and Georgia (based on English), the creole of Haiti (based on French), and
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.

Bibliography

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).

References in periodicals archive ?
in the case of the future auxiliaries), impact or example of contact languages, readiness for innovation in society, language attitudes (prestige of some language variety, purism, intentional syntheticity in language management), as well as active campaigning and use.
In such circumstances, it could well be that both the men and their womenfolk were intent on the latter acquiring English as such rather than on developing an English-based contact language.
The earliest attestations of pronouns that deviate significantly from the English system are listed for thirteen English-lexicon contact languages spoken around the world.
to examine briefly how the personal pronoun systems of thirteen English lexicon contact languages deviate from the English system;
Contact languages need pronouns, and personal pronouns are probably among the first things that they need.
accept that even if these texts do not accurately reflect the ratio of standard to nonstandard pronouns in the incipient contact languages, they still indicate that there was some measure of variability and competition of forms -- not only in the area of pronouns but on all descriptive levels.
The importance of semantic transparency in the genesis of contact languages was first brought to the attention of creolists by Seuren and Wekker (1986).
Comparison of the grammatical systems of Estonian and Finnish, the study of the contact languages of Estonian, and the long-time teaching experience at the University of Helsinki have apparently made Helle Metslang deal with those areas of Estonian that cause difficulty to foreign learners.
Modal use of the tulema-construction occurs in all the Finnic languages; it is likely that similar use in the contact languages may have contributed to its spread, cf.
One possible source of analogy could be the influence of Indo-European languages, but one cannot think of any example in the contact languages that is sufficiently widespread.