simplified language

A pidgin is a simplified language. Pidgins usually develop because two groups of people need to talk to each other but do not speak the same language.[1][2] Pidgins are not usually as complicated as many other languages.[3]

Not all simple or "broken" forms of language are pidgins. Pidgins have rules which a person must learn to speak the pidgin well.[4]

Countries that use pidgin languages as their official languages include Papua New Guinea, Jamaica and some other Caribbean and Central American countries.

History of the word change

Pidgin comes from from a Chinese pronunciation of the English word business. All cases given in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary mean "business; an action, occupation, or affair" . The earliest reference is from 1807. The term pidgin English ("business English") is first used in 1855, for a language. By the 1860s, the term pidgin alone could refer to Pidgin English. In the late 19th century, the term was used for any simplified language.[5][6]

A popular false etymology for pidgin is English pigeon, a bird sometimes used for carrying brief written messages, especially in the time before modern telecommunications.[5][7]

Examples change

  • long time no see (=we have not seen each other for a long time) is from Chinese好久不见“ (good– long– not– see).
  • look-see is also from Chinese „看见“.

References change

  • Bakker, Peter (1994), "Pidgins", in Jacques Arends, Pidgins and Creoles: an introduction, John Benjamins
  • Hymes, Dell (1971), Pidginization and creolization of languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-07833-4
  • McWhorter, John (2002). The Power of Babel: the natural history of language. Random House Group. ISBN 0-06-052085-X.
  • Sebba, Mark (1997). Contact languages: Pidgins and Creoles. MacMillan. ISBN 0-333-63024-6.
  • Thomason, Sarah & Terrence Kaufman (1988), Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics (first ed.), Berkeley: University of California Press
  • Todd, Loreto (1990), Pidgins and Creoles, Routledge, ISBN 0415053110

Notes change

  1. See Todd (1990:3)
  2. See Kaufman & Thomason (1988:169)
  3. Bakker (1994:27)
  4. Bakker (1994:26)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "pidgin, n." OED Online, Oxford University Press, January 2018, Accessed 23 January 2018.
  6. Online Etymology Dictionary
  7. Crystal, David (1997), "Pidgin", The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press