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Title: Pidgins and Creoles
Contributor(s): Siegel, Jeff  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: Pidgins and creoles arc new languages that develop in language contact situations because of a need for communication among people who do not share a common language. A pidgin continues to be used primarily as a second language for intergroup communication, whereas a creole has become the mother tongue of a particular group of speakers. The lexicon of a pidgin or creole is derived from the various languages originally in contact, with the majority usually coming from one particular language, called the lexifier. However, the grammar of a pidgin or creole is different from that of the lexifier or any of the other contributing languages. Most scholars in the field of pidgin and creole studies (or "creolistics") would agree on these characterizations of the languages they study, but on little else. A great deal of controversy has existed in the field since it became a separate (and ultimately respectable) area of linguistics in the 19605. There are disagreements about the precise definitions of pidgin and creole, about which language varieties are actually pidgins or creoles, and about the origins of the linguistic features of these languages. Because these theoretical controversies are given excellent coverage in other overviews, textbooks, and compilations (e.g., Singler and Kouwenberg, 2008; Rickford and McWhorter, 1997; Sebba 1997), I outline them only briefly here. Then I present some sociolinguistic background information on speakers, status, and attitudes. Finally, I go on to discuss some areas of applied linguistics that concern pidgins and creoles.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics, p. 382-397
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: Oxford, United Kingdom
ISBN: 0195384253
Field of Research (FOR): 200399 Language Studies not elsewhere classified
200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
200405 Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950202 Languages and Literacy
930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Category Description: B3 Chapter in a Revision/New Edition of a Book
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Series Name: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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