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Pidgin and Creole

Pidgin and creole are not new variety it is among many languages of the world; a system of
communicating pidgin and creole is called Lingua Franca. Pidgin language is a language
with no native speakers; it is not first language of anyone but in spite of that it is known as
contact language such pidgin languages are the reaction of multilingual colonies whose sole
source abandoned to improvise, add and modify codes in order to communicate in other
words we can say that it is reduced variety of language it is only spoken to fulfill need of
contact groups.

How are the languages pidginized?

Pidginization is situations where imbalance of power among the languages as speakers of

one language often accompanies that dominate speakers that of other languages
economically and socially .Holm (1988) defines as “A reduced language that results from
extended contact between groups of people with no language in common. It evolves when
they need some means of verbal communication, perhaps for trade, but no group learns the
native language of any other group for social reasons that may include lack of trust or of
close contact” .Pidginization requires at least three languages one of them may be
dominant over other due its social and economic situation rest of remaining in dilemma of
inferiority .Speakers of pidgins are considered deficient socially ,culturally and cognitively
it is also assumed that throughout world from 2 to 12 million people speak pidgin language
according old survey might be new figure varies than the mentioned one .Holmes (1992)
says “ A creole is pidgin which has expanded in structure and vocabulary to express the
range of meaning and serve the range of functions required of a first language
.Simplification of language codes with no grammar at all and reduction in function of
grammar and phonology mostly fusion of different mother tongue generate pidgin
languages . Let us discuss root causes of pidginization ; pidgnization is natural process and
this is done when no one understands each other language ; hence everyone tries to
communicate their message by choosing words from all language which are at present
available as listener can understand from such reduced variety of language and second
most significance cause was of trade where seller and buyer both were unknown to each
other linguistics features of language and consequence tends to acquire bits of every
language in order to communicate appropriately.

Shift from Pidgin to creole:

It is no more shocking for us that Pidginization still happens throughout world where
communication need is prioritized ,people always initiate whatever they have available
resources .This would be unfair to say that every pidgin is later creole because from
pidginization to cerolization there are some processes to adopt ; therefore it is to say that
every pidgin is lingua France would be unjustified only a few that undergo the process of
creolization they become part of communication system (Lingua France ).Most of the
pidgins die out before they processed .When pidgin for some reason survive
simultaneously convert into creole .Pidginization is very effectively used in children as in
German workers developed pidginized German varieties of language for communication
but it could be no longer survived until and unless they educated and schooled .Above
discussion clearly emphases that if any of language is published ,spoken largely and
communicated broadly cannot die out .Aitchison (1981) also has noted what is happening
to Neo – Melanenisian .She point out four kinds of change .One of these is that people speak
creoles faster than pidgin and they do not speak word by word this process is called
“assimilation and reduction” for instance ma bilong mi (my husband in English ) and
reduced and assimilated version became mamblomi. Second change is expansion in
vocabulary resources languages are extendable it is always said that forming new language
needs lots of new vocabulary ;same happens here new and short words were formed such
as paitman ( fighter in English) exits alongside man bilong pait (man of fight ) .Third change
was formed while developing tense system in verbs such as Bin used as past time marker
and bai ,from baimbai( by and by ) as future time marker .fourth and final change dragged
language towards the development and sentences and relative clauses simply discourse
marker as pidgin can be developed into a fully-fledged language . Hall mentions that kinds
of changes we associate with creolization normally take thousands of years in languages for
which we certain kinds of historical evidence. Whatever Hall says but recent intensive
studies takes opposite view and claims that pidgnization takes place overnight and
creolization takes no more than a generation or two.

History of Pidgin and creole and its characteristics

According to Ronald Wardhbough. Pidgin and creole languages are not only distributed
mainly equatorial belt around the world, but nearby oceans; these languages are found
mostly in the Caribbean and around the North and East coasts of South America and
around coast of Africa ;particularly the west coast ,and across the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
Holm (1989) provides useful survey of pidgin and creole, smith (1995) lists 351 pidgin and
creoles along with 158 assorted mixed languages and Hankock (1997) lists pidgins and
creoles out of these thirty five are English based.



Pidgin and Creole


Pidgin and Where these languages are spoken

creole Families Total
Hawaiin ,Gullah,Sea Island Creole Spoken on the Island of coasts of
,Jamaican,Guyana,Krio,Saranan,Djuka ,Cameeroon ,Tok Pisin northern Florida ,Georgia ,and South
English and Chinees Pidgin Carolina 35
English and French based both were
French Louisina ,Haitian ,Seychelles,Mauritian, spoken at the belt of Caribbean 15
Spoken in Aruba ,Bonaire and
Curacaco and also last three are
Portuguese Papiamentu,Guine,Senegal,Saramaccan spoken in Suriname 14
Spoken by immigrants in Buenos
Spanish Cocoliche (spoken by Italian immigrants in Buenos Aries) Aries 7
Dutch US Virgin Island Dutch Creole Spoken in Negerhollands 5
A Russian –
Norwegian contact Language ,now
Italian Asmara Pidgin (Spoken in Part of Ethopia) extinct 3
A Russian –Norwegian contact
German Yiddish And Gastarbeiter Deutsh ,Russenorsk language ,now extinct 6
European Pidgin and Creole Languages 100
Hub of Pidgins and Creoles and some massive shift.

Caribbean area is mainly popular for pidgin and Creole ; whereas French speaking pidgin
and creole could not survive due to their geographical and historical settlements but on the
other hand if we glance over English based , French based and dutch based they follow still
their varieties of pidgin almost processed into creole .Having discussed Creole and Pidgin
here question arises that when pidgin converts into creole does it survive or else it is
compelled to follow standard dialect of that region. This has been always debate in
linguistic phenomena in relation to society that what dialect is it spoken and why is it
spoken in particular region? For answering that question one should follow effect of society
over language that shows intangible effects to dialect and later some survived, some
converted /diverted and some are died out. For instance French –based creole is spoken in
St Lucia (Caribbean area) English is their official language now. Later in chapters we will
discuss about issues that cause in decay of any language.

Linguistics Analysis

Should pidgin and creole be compared to standard dialect of any region? It makes no sense
at all because pidgin is not of any ones’ language therefore comparing it to standard dialect
looks a little unwise device but in order to check out whether out of three which language
shared more of her constitutes makes sense to compare .Sounds of Pidgin and Creole are
easier to learn and speak than standard language such as Tok Pisin (English based Pidgin
and creole) their speaker use five basic vowels and fewer consonant than the standard
English .They feel no contrast in “it “and “eat” as they call ship as sip and sheep as
sipsip.They makes no difference between P and f such as if you say wanfela or wanpela (in
English one)makes no distinction for them . Moreover and other significant marker found
in Pidgin is that it does not follow variation in pluralization as it is very common in English
such as boys, cats and dogs. The technical term for this is morphophonemic variation. Most
of Pidgins as well as Creole lack inflation in nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives. In
following examples Tok Pisin pidgin illustrated below

Category Tok Pisin English

Pronoun Me I and Me
Mipela I and others not you
Yumi I and You
Em He ,she and it
Wanpela One
As inflectional endings are significant in English languages; specifically irregular ones such
as go ,went .where as in Pidgins inflection and changes are not essential such lacks are
considered to be language of inferiority .In this connection in pidgin there is no embedding
concept of clauses but in creole clauses are embedded .Negation is done by using “no “ as in
Krio I no tu had (It’s not too hard ) and Pa in French such as I pa tro difisil(It is not too
difficult ).Use of pre- verbal particles are interesting features ;de ,ape and ka as in Krio a de
go work ( I am going to work ) and mo ape travaj (I am working in Louisiana French ); and
e ka nda (He is going in St Thomas ).Pidgins and Creoles have many similarities to that of
the standard language ; though morphological and phonological changes turn words to new
shapes that were discussed above .It is amazed to listen duplication of words in creoles
almost similar to standard language such as Talk (talk ) talk talk (chatter, gap in Sindhi) dry
(dry) dry dry (unpalatable means nasty) Crycry (continually Cry means Ghora Ghora in
Sindhi) ,but Tok Pisin elaborated encodings hair (gras bilong het ) ,beard (grass bilong fes)
,feathers (is gras bilong pisin) ,moustache (gras bilong maus) ,my car (ka bilong me ) and
bird’s wing (han bilong pisin) .