Sociolinguistics


The Location of Pidgins and Creoles Around the World

(Source: Sebba 1997: x/xi)

Pidgins and creoles: what are they named after?

Pidgins and creoles have usually been named after

(1) their lexifier language, i.e. the language that provides most of the vocabulary. This is often the language of a European colonizer such as English or Spanish. Accordingly, when we speak of English-based pidgins and creoles, we mean all those contact languages whose lexifier language is English. Likewise, there are for instance Spanish-based, French-based or Dutch-based pidgins and creoles.

(2) The names for pidgins and creoles usually denote their geographical location, i.e. the place where they are spoken.

Thus, we find such names as Chinese Pidgin English, Hawaiian Creole English or West African Pidgin English.