The Emergence of Pidgin and Creole Languages

Paperback | March 10, 2008

byJeff Siegel

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This book provides explanations for the emergence of contact languages, especially pidgins and creoles. It assesses the current state of research and examines aspects of current theories and approaches that have excited much controversy and debate. The book answers questions such as: How validis the notion of a pidgin-creole-postcreole life cycle? Why are many features of pidgins and creoles simple in formal terms compared to other languages? And what is the origin of the grammatical innovations in expanded pidgins and creoles - linguistic universals, conventional language change, theinfluence of features of languages in the contact environment, or a mix of two or more factors? In addressing these issues, the author looks at research on processes of second language acquisition and use, including simplification, overgeneralization, and language transfer. He shows how theseprocesses can account for many of the characteristics of contact languages, and proposes linguistic and sociolinguistic constraints on their application in language contact. His analysis is supported with detailed examples and case studies from Pidgin Fijian, Melanesian Pidgin, Hawai'i Creole, NewCaledonian Tayo and Australian Kriol, which he uses as well to assess the merits of competing theories of language genesis. Professor Siegel also considers his research's wider implications for linguistic theory.

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This book provides explanations for the emergence of contact languages, especially pidgins and creoles. It assesses the current state of research and examines aspects of current theories and approaches that have excited much controversy and debate. The book answers questions such as: How validis the notion of a pidgin-creole-postcreole...

Jeff Siegel is Adjunct Professor of Linguistics at the University of New England in Australia and an Associate Researcher at the University of Hawai'i. His main research interests are in contact varieties of language in the Australia-Pacific region. His published work includes Language Contact in a Plantation Environment: a Sociolingu...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.79 inPublished:March 10, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199216673

ISBN - 13:9780199216673

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsAbbreviations1. Introduction2. Morphological Simplicity in Pidgins3. Morphological Simplicity and Expansion in Creoles4. Sources of Morphological Expansion5. Transfer6. Constraints on Substrate Influence7. Substrate Reinforcement8. Predicting Substrate Influence9. Decreolization?10. ConclusionReferences