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ERIC Number: ED466630
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Maintaining Indigenous Languages in North America: What Can We Learn from Studies of Pidgins and Creoles?
Goodfellow, Anne; Alfred, Pauline
This paper discusses the relationship between pidgins and creoles and indigenous language maintenance, explaining that the development of pidgin and creole languages always occurs in the context of language contact, often between a European colonial language and one or more indigenous languages. Pidgins are languages that are primarily used as a means of communication among people who do not share a common language. They develop in the attempts of people speaking two languages to communicate and involve processes of simplification in phonology and grammar. Pidgins develop in different contexts. Creoles are languages that develop from pidgins that become more widespread and stabilized. Creoles become mother tongues or first languages, with an expanded vocabulary and elaborated syntax. Mixed languages fuse the vocabulary of one language with the grammar of another. Most North American indigenous languages are shifting, generally involving a gradual loss of the indigenous language in favor of English. Language education is being used to intervene and change the natural direction of the language shift. An example of this language education among speakers of Kwak'wala in the northern Vancouver Island area is presented. (Contains 11 references.) (SM)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A