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Lecture 1

LINC47H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Jamaican Patois, Exoticism, Post-Creole Continuum

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Karen Mc Crindle

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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
Session 1 - Class outline
Discuss syllabus and expectations
Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles (P&C) Reading: Chapter 1, p. 1-13
Where are pidgins and creoles spoken?
Where do we not see creoles being spoken?
Colonizing countries such as Europe, North America and far South
The creoles that are spoken are mostly English based, French based, Spanish
based, African based, Dutch based
Attitudes about pidgins and creoles
Exoticism, can be viewed in either a positive way or a negative way
It’s important for speakers to show that they speak more of the European type
“It’s not a real language”
Often viewed as broken corrupt version or inferior version of European languages
Higher prestige associated with European languages
Creole speakers were seen as savages and uncivilized
Overview of development of P&C
1950s and 60s, few linguists started studying them, and saw them as exotic
They were seen as exciting languages & were a cool thing to study
Linguists weren’t focusing on the evolution of these languages, it was more about
describing it and comparing it to other languages
Attitudes have changed over time, we learned that they are in fact their own
linguistic structures and aren’t broken languages
There is much more respect given to those languages
What is a dialect?
Regional variations of a language
Variety of a language, but it would have the same grammatical structure
What is a language?
Completely separate entity
Can’t be understood through regional borders
Significant differences in grammatical structure
Most creoles are a language
Changing notions of what a language is
Historical notion
Do you speak the language?
find more resources at
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