Styles of Communication, Vol 1, No 1 (2009)

On the Origins of Pidgin and Creole Languages: An Outline

Aleksandra Knapik


Pidgin and creole languages are usually the result of contacts between people who do not speak each other’s language. When they meet for different purposes (trade, business, plantation work) they immediately look for a quick means of communication. Thus, a simple makeshift language is created in a relatively short time. It is naturally composed of the elements deriving from two or more of the languages that are in contact. It is commonly considered (see, e.g., Bickerton 1981, Sebba 1997, Mühlähusler 1986) that pidgins can constitute the initial stage for further development into a stable pidgin.


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