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Lecture 2

LINC47H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Jamaican Patois, Creolistics, Historical Linguistics

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Karen Mc Crindle

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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
Session 2 - Class outline
Review of first class (Reading: Ch. 1, p, 1-13)
Where are pidgins and creoles spoken?
Not spoken in Europe, most of Asia and a lot of the colonizers
Connection between speakers and where they would move to
Mass movements of people
Some movements were for the purpose of trade and others were due to economics
Attitudes about pidgins and creoles
“Bastard tongues” used with a negative sense
They weren’t real languages, spoken by uneducated people
Inferior forms of communication
Were considered corruptions of other languages
There were attitudes within the language speakers as well: many don’t consider
their language as a real language
o They won’t identify themselves as creole speakers, they aren’t
comfortable speaking their language when around outsiders
o Some speakers have pride over the language they speak
Ex. Jamaican creole speakers
Overview of development of P&C
Up until relatively recently linguists hesitated to identify themselves as creolists
Studies were more general than theoretical
o Ex. list of words, or some description of what the grammar was
What is a dialect?
Is a verity of a language
There are regional dialects and social dialects
Regional dialects: is geographical, variation based on different geographical
o Ex. British English versus Canadian English
Social dialects: may be in the same region, but differences of socioeconomics or
education create dialects
o Ex. Higher education speak more grammatically correct usage
What is a language?
Would have a different structure
Phonological, morphological and syntactic structure
Changing notions of what a language is
Historical notion
Knowing all the rules of language
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FRE/LINC47H Pidgin and Creole Languages
We don’t choose the rules, we just follow them
Languages have to be written down and have to have a grammar book
In order to be competent in a language, you have you know the four fundamental
factors: Oral form, Written form, compression and production
Creoles didn’t have written language in the past so they weren’t considered a
Current notion
We as linguists don’t look at the rules the same way
Focus on individuals’ and society’s habits of language
o The living language
Now creoles are considered a language by linguists
Difference between Pidgins and Creoles
Pidgins change quicker than creoles
o They are created through colonial interactions
Some pidgins become a language and some creoles die out quickly
The development of pidgins and creoles are rapid
Why study P&Cs?
Initially it was about wanting to study exotic languages
Think about creoles in a much more global way
Pidgins and creoles developed rapidly and are fully fledged languages
Studying this will shed light on the development of languages
o Language acquisition: how language is learned/acquired
o How languages are passed on
o Historical linguistics
o Sociolinguistics
Inferior or superior status of language
Terminology (review and additional discussion):
Referred to with relation to Jamaican creole
Is a French word
And inferior attitude associated with the word
It is okay to refer Jamaican creoles as Patois but it is not okay to refer other
creoles as Patois
Is nobodies first language
Often established with 2 or more areas
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