Chapter

Local Vocals

Susan M. Schultz

in Close Listening

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195109924
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855261 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109924.003.0016
Local Vocals

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To write in pidgin is to write in a language that has no standardized orthography. In the same way reading pidgin can be difficult even for native speakers who are unaccustomed to seeing pidgin words on the page. Pidgin developed as a “language of command” that allowed foremen on the sugar and pineapple plantations of Hawaii to give orders to their workers. The language that developed was a mix of Hawaiian, English, and the workers' native languages and the vocabulary is recognizable as English, but the sentence structure more resembles that of the Hawaiian language. But thirty years ago, the lack of a literature in pidgin seemed to many a valid argument against the language.

Keywords: pidgin; standardized orthography; reading pidgin; language of command; workers' native languages

Chapter.  7983 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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