• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Pidgin and Creole Languages

Linguists use the terms pidgin and creole (P/C) to refer to languages that arose in bilingual or multilingual contact settings with no shared language. Pidgins serve as lingua franca for limited purposes while creoles are full-fledged languages that serve all the communicative needs of a community. The differences are fuzzy because the terms developed from lay terminology in specific sociocultural contexts. The term pidgin developed from English business and was first applied to Chinese Pidgin English. Creole derives from Spanish criollo; originally used to refer to persons of European Spanish origin born in the Americas, it was later extended to things, including language, that are unique to that context. Naming conventions are not always indicative of their status. Languages that include pidgin in their ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles