Contact Pidgins

JoatSimeon at JoatSimeon at
Tue Jan 26 22:13:53 UTC 1999

>The situation here is what I call "reconvergence".  It's effects
>are similar to creolization, but it is not creolization.  In other words,
>the situation develops as if there had been a Germanic creole in the mix,
>without this actually being true.

-- this strikes me as a distinction without a difference.

English itself displays some of the features of a creolized pidgin (loss of
inflection, etc.).  And English has undergone repeated situations of languge-
contact on its native ground -- with Romano-British, with Old Scandinavian,
and with French.   Comparison with the closely related Frisian is instructive.

Afrikaans has undergone a strikingly similar simplification in a situation of
language contact and bilingualism -- from 17th century Netherlandish, still
highly inflected, to a grammar that is even more radicallysimplified than that
of English.  (Eg., replacement of wiij with onz, etc.)

I agree that creolization/pidgin is an overworked term, but it certainly has
some validity for prehistoric situations.

More information about the Indo-european mailing list