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ERIC Number: ED077295
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1972-Apr-21
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
A Psycholinguistic Approach to Pidgin Languages.
Kinney, Lucretia
Traditionally linguists have considered pidgin languages as corrupted constructions of European vocabulary based on African or Asian syntax. Recent systematic studies of these languages show complex patterns of mutual influence on many levels. To explain the structural similarities of pidgin languages, some linguists, such as Keith Whinnom, have postulated a relexification theory. According to this theory, the Portuguese pidgin used along the West African Coast from the 16th to the 19th centuries became the basis for all subsequent West Indian, Caribbean, and Oriental pidgin languages. As an alternate explanation, current work in psycholinguistics suggests that these similarities do not in fact have to be traced back to a parent Portuguese pidgin but can be the result of universal language acquisition capacities. This report presents some of the similarities between language universals used by children and those used by pidgin speakers. It concludes that pidgins could in fact be created independently of each other and still have many syntactic constructions in common. (RS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A