Book cover

(Longman, 1988)

Table of Contents


Pidgin and creole languages are of major importance to linguists. This book defines and describes the linguistic features of these languages and considers the dynamic developments that bring them into being and lead to changes in their structure. Professor Suzanne Romaine argues that pidgins have a recognizable structure of their own, independent of the languages involved in the original contact; and moreover, that the stability of this structure varies, depending on the extent of its internal development and the functional expansion that the pidgin has undergone at a particular point in its life cycle. Within this context, she discusses the role of creative innovation, transmission, and borrowing in creole formation.

Significantly, the book places the study of these languages within the context of current issues of concern to linguistic theory: language acquisition, and universals and change. It argues for a developmentally-based model of language which treats all acquisition phenomena within a single framework. The task of synthesizing a model of language which is adequate for progress in the study of pidgins and creoles is not lessened by treating these languages as special cases. Nor is it aided by trying to isolate a social context of creolization distinct from the more general forces which operate on all languages.

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