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From Fisin to Pijin: Creolization in process in the Solomon Islands

  • Christine Jourdan (a1) and Roger Keesing (a2)

In a combination of ethnohistorical records and longitudinal data gathered over a period of 30 years, the development of Solomon Islands Pijin is documented and analyzed in light of the current debate surrounding creolization theory. Using a pragmatic definition of a Creole (Jourdan 1991), the authors argue that pidgins can be very elaborate codes even before they become the mother tongue of children, and that this elaboration is the result of the linguistic creativity of adults. It is further shown that, in sociolinguistic niches where adults and children use the pidgin as their main language, the impact of the latter on the evolution of the language is of a different nature. (Creolization theory, pidgin languages, substrate influences, urbanization, Solomon Islands Pijin)

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Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
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