Contact Languages: A Wider Perspective (Creole Language by Sarah G. Thomason

By Sarah G. Thomason

Offering linguistic and historic sketches of lesser-known touch languages, this paintings goals to give a contribution to a extra balanced view of the main dramatic result of language touch. The 12 case reviews provide testimony opposed to the view that each one touch languages are pidgins and creoles with maximally uncomplicated and primarily exact grammars. They convey that a few touch languages are neither pidgins nor creoles, and they can show massive structural variety and complexity; additionally they exhibit that two-language touch occasions can provide upward push to pidgins, in particular whilst entry to a objective language is withheld by way of its audio system. The chapters are prepared by means of language sort: 3 specialise in pidgins (Hiri Motu, Pidgin Delaware and Ndyuka-Trio Pidgin); one on a collection of pidgins and creoles (Arabic-based touch languages); one at the query of early pidginization and/or creolization in Swahili; and 5 on bilingual combined languages (Michif, Media Lengua and Callahuaya, and Mednyj Aleut and Ma'a). The target of this quantity is to aid offset the conventional emphasis on pidgins and creoles that arose as a right away result of touch with Europeans, beginning within the Age of Exploration.

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Of these the most likely source is Koita, if any one particular source was responsible for this development in Hiri Motu, as it has some of the same flexibility as exhibited by Hiri Motu. For example both SOV and OSV word orders occur depending on the nature of the sentence (Dutton 1975). Whether or not Koita was the only or principal source, it would seem that the other possible sources named above could hardly have been sources as (i) the "broken" Englishes presumed to have been spoken by "visitors" and the early policemen did not have this kind of variation (judging by modern forms of them) and (ii) the majority of native languages spoken by the "visitors" and early policemen were Austronesian (including Indonesian, Solomon Islands, Vanuatuan, and Fijian languages) and Papuan ones which did not have this kind of variation.

Hitherto, the Protectorate Government had been merely conducting a holding operation, attempting as far as possible to avoid distur­ bances and to protect the local population from undesirable outside influences and from itself. It had few legal powers to make laws and to enforce them. But a colony was a different matter and it was the change in the nature and methods of the colonial Government that had such an impact on the local population and, in turn, on the linguistic situation. Indeed, the impact was so Hiri Motu 21 great that by the time that MacGregor left British New Guinea in 1898, what was later to become known as Police Motu had become the principal, al­ though not the sole, unofficial language of administration in many areas and the scene was set for its further expansion into other areas as similar policies and methods continued bringing new areas under control.

Compared with Motu, Simplified Motu and Hiri Motu are gener­ ally much simpler in structure. They also include a number of features not found in Motu. 17 Comparing the Simplified Motu and Hiri Motu features, it is to be noted that, except for four features for which there is no evidence in Simplified Motu (viz. 18 Where these features came from in Simplified Motu and Hiri Motu is, however, another question and one the linguistic evidence cannot answer unambiguously. On the one hand, most of the fea­ tures that distinguish Simplified Motu and Hiri Motu from Motu have paral­ lels in one or more of the languages the Motu were in contact with at the time of first European contact.

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