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Language Contact in the Early Colonial Pacific
Maritime Polynesian Pidgin before Pidgin English

$35.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact

  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107699618

$ 35.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • This volume presents a historical-sociolinguistic description and analysis of Maritime Polynesian Pidgin. It offers linguistic and sociohistorical substantiation for a regional Eastern Polynesian-based pidgin, and challenges conventional Eurocentric assumptions about early colonial contact in the eastern Pacific by arguing that Maritime Polynesian Pidgin preceded the introduction of Pidgin English by as much as a century. Emanuel J. Drechsel not only opens up new methodological avenues for historical-sociolinguistic research in Oceania by a combination of philology and ethnohistory, but also gives greater recognition to Pacific Islanders in early contact between cultures. Students and researchers working on language contact, language typology, historical linguistics and sociolinguistics will want to read this book. It redefines our understanding of how Europeans and Americans interacted with Pacific Islanders in Eastern Polynesia during early encounters and offers an alternative model of language contact.

    • Presents a historical-sociolinguistic description and analysis of Maritime Polynesian Pidgin
    • Challenges conventional Eurocentric assumptions about early colonial language contact in the eastern Pacific and provides an alternative analysis of colonial language contact favoring a non-European medium of contact
    • Documents Maritime Polynesian Pidgin or the Polynesian-based variety of South Seas Jargon over a period of a century, and redefines our understanding of how Europeans and Americans interacted with Pacific Islanders in the eastern Pacific during their early encounters
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This study is of major importance, highlighting the key role of Hawaiian in shaping interethnic contact, and showing how Hawaiian and East Polynesian linguistic unity profoundly affected early European contact throughout the Pacific."
    William H. Wilson, University of Hawaiʻi

    "Drechsel has presented a painstakingly researched account of the language varieties that arose during early contacts between Europeans and Polynesians. His account fills a major gap in our knowledge of Pacific Contact language, maritime Pidgins and their social and structural properties."
    Peter Mühlhäusler, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University of Adelaide

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107699618
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 4 maps 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Questions, Theories, and Methods of Historical Sociolinguistics:
    1. Introduction
    2. Maritime Polynesian Pidgin and Pidgin and Creole linguistics
    3. Ethnohistory of speaking as a historical-sociolinguistic methodology
    Part II. Historical Attestations of Maritime Polynesian Pidgin (MPP):
    4. Emergence, stabilization, and expansion
    5. Resilience against depidginization and relexification
    6. Survival in niches
    Part III. Structure, Function, and History of Maritime Polynesian Pidgin:
    7. Linguistic patterns
    8. History and social functions
    9. Conclusions: linguistic, sociohistorical, and theoretical implications.

  • Resources for

    Language Contact in the Early Colonial Pacific

    Emanuel J. Drechsel

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  • Author

    Emanuel J. Drechsel, University of Hawaii, Manoa
    Emanuel J. Drechsel is a senior faculty member of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa, and has regularly taught courses in linguistic anthropology, ethnohistory, and related topics. He has long been interested in non-European pidgins, and is the author of a well-received case study entitled 'Mobilian Jargon' (1997) of greater Louisiana. His more recent research has focused on the eastern Pacific.

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