Sunday, May 30, 2021

Pidgins and creoles as products of collective linguistic creativity

In their Language Log post addressing the concept of the "native speaker" of a language, Devin Grammon and Anna Babel mention that creole languages, like many "marginalized" languages, are often "not recognized as legitimate varieties of language" by speakers of more socially validated languages. Yet the creation of pidgin and creole languages at points of contact between languages is amazing: with elements of the languages they know, people with no common language create a pidgin, which turns into a creole as their descendants learn to speak it. Instead of being decried as illegitimate forms compared to "standard" languages, pidgins and creoles deserve widespread recognition as incredible realizations of collective linguistic creativity. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 30 May 2021)

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