Pidgins and Creoles

Eric Russell Webb

in The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199744084
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Pidgins and Creoles


Pidgin and creole languages are found throughout the world, with relatively greater concentrations in the Caribbean basin, the Indian Ocean, the coast of Western and Central Africa, and Oceania. In most literature, pidgins and creoles are grouped according to respective lexifiers, from which the bulk of their vocabulary derives. Emerging in contact environments, pidgins and creoles have been profoundly influenced by sociolinguistic forces and offer compelling evidence of the extent to which extra-grammatical factors contribute to the shape of language. This chapter pursues two questions. What is the interest of these languages to contemporary sociolinguistics? And how can the adoption of a sociolinguistic posture better address the distinction of creole from non-creole?

Keywords: contact environments; contemporary sociolinguistics; extra-grammatical factors; pidgin; creole

Article.  8027 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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