"American Indian Pidgin English"

David Robertson drobert at TINCAN.TINCAN.ORG
Sun Mar 14 16:13:36 UTC 1999

Lhush san,

>From the same article by Emanuel Drechsel [pg. 1223]:

	"What appears as Pidgin English in AIPE actually was an amalgam
	of partial native-language replacements (including English relexi-
	fications of Native American speech), stereotypical presentations,
	and superimposed hypercorrections by Europeans, who took consider-
	able freedom in documenting Native American speech and perhaps
	even drew on widely attested forms of non-Indian Pidgin English
	as models.  By all indications, AIPE was not a genuine pidgin,
	but a 'broken' English that had literally been put into the
	Indians' mouth[s] and that recalls the modern analogy of Indian
	parts in Western novels, comic strips, and movies.  These have
	frequently distorted Native American speech for the purpose of
	rendering it intelligible to their audience...."

--By the way, one point in the above quotation touches on an idea I've
seen considered in private discussions:  Did those who had traveled
extensively by sea, to places like West Africa, the Caribbean, China, and
Polynesia, bring an understanding of a perceived widespread Pidgin English
to the Northwest, and attempt to use it with Indian people?  That is one
way of accounting for alternants (in _Kamloops Wawa_) such as "baibai" for
"alki", "katchem" for "tlap", "washem" for "mamuk wash".--

Drechsel does offer cites for several investigations of AIPE:

Flanigan, Beverly Olson 1981, i.e. "American Indian English in history and
literature: the evolution of a pidgin from reality to stereotype."
Doctoral diss., Indiana U., Bloomington.

Brandt, Elizabeth & Christopher MacCrate 1982, i.e. "Make like seem heep
Injin': pidginization in the southwest."  _Ethnohistory_ 29:201-220.

Leap, William L. 1977, i.e. "The study of American Indian English:  an
introduction to the issues" in William L. Leap (ed.), Studies in
Southwestern Indian English.  San Antonio:  Trinity U. Press, 3-20.

---- 1982, i.e. "The study of Indian English in the U.S. Southwest:
retrospect and prospect" in Florence Barkin, Elizabeth Brandt, and Jacob
Ornstein-Galicia (eds.), Bilingualism and language contact:  Spanish,
English, and Native American languages.  New York:  Teachers College
Press, 101-119.

Bartelt, Guillermo, Susan Penfield-Jasper, & Bates Hoffer 1982, i.e.
Essays in Native American English" San Antonio:  Trinity U. Press.


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