Pidgins and Creoles

May 15th, 2015
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The etymology of pidgin is uncertain. The Oxford English Dictionary derives it from the English word business as pronounced in Chinese Pidgin English, which was of course used for transacting business.

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Pidgins and CreolesA.THE DEFINITON OF PIDGIN AND CREOLE LANGUAGEA.1 THE DEFINITION OF PIDGINThe etymology of pidgin is uncertain. The Oxford English Dictionary derives it from the English word business as pronounced in Chinese Pidgin English, which was of course used for transacting business. Other possible sources derived pidjom exchange, trade, redemption; a Chinese pronunciation of the Portuguese word ocupao business; or a South Seas pronunciation of English beach as beachee, from the location where the language was often used (Mhlhusler, in Holm, 2004). A pidgin is a language with no native speakers: it is no ones first language but is a contact language. That is, it is the product of a multilingual situation in which those who wish to communicate must find or improvise a simple language system that will enable them to do so. Very often too, that situation is one in which there is an imbalance of power among the languages as the speakers of one language dominate the speakers of the other languages economically and socially. A highly codified language often accompanies that dominant position. A pidgin is therefore sometimes regarded as a reduced variety of a normal language, i.e., one of the aforementioned dominant languages, with simplification of the grammar and vocabulary of that language, considerable phonological variation, and an admixture of local vocabulary to meet the special needs of the contact group (Wardhaugh, 2006, pp.

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