Welcome to Pidgins and Creoles!

Briefly explained, Pidgins are languages created for communication among people who speak different languages but have no interest or opportunity to learn each other's native language. They typically emerge as a result of international trading relations connected with slavery and colonization.

"Creole " is not a synonym for "Pidgin". Different from Pidgins, Creoles have native speakers, a fact that requires a higher level of linguistic development, and gives Creoles the status of natural languages. As language is always related to culture, it is important to read about the communities that speak Pidgins and Creoles in order to understand better these languages.

As Patricia Nichols says in her text "Pidgins and Creoles"*, these languages "allow us to observe the birth and evolution of a language within a highly compressed time frame", which is one of the main reasons why the study of Pidgins and Creoles is so interesting.

So, here is a list of websites where you may learn more about Pidgins and Creoles.

We hope you find what you are looking for!

*In "Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching", McKay, S.L, (org), New York: Cambridge University Press, 1966.

General information about Pidgins and Creoles

Written by Peter L. Patrick, a professor from the University of Essex, this page aims to help elementary students of Linguistics who are starting to learn about Pidgins and Creoles. It is interesting how the author does not limit his exposition according to his own point of view, but presents theories that differ from his opinions, enriching the students' research. Besides that, it is possible to contact Patrick if you need more information.

http://humanities.uchicago.edu/faculty/mufwene/pidginCreoleLanguage.html Written by the professor Salikoko S. Mufwene, from the University of Chicago, this page brings a detailed definition of Pidgins and Creoles, describing their development and main characteristics. In the end of the page, the author gives some possible reasons why, in his opinion, Creolistics does not cause much influence on general Linguistics.


With subcategories as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole_language and many others, this website presents articles on several aspects of Pidgins and Creoles, since their origin and development until their death. Most of these articles point to external links that may be helpful to increase your knowledge of these languages.

4.http://www.alphadictionary.com/directory/Languages/Creole_and_Pidgin_Languages/ Alpha Dictionary has not only dictionaries on different Pidgins and Creoles, but also grammars and other resources for the learning of these languages.

5. http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~jpcl/
This is the website of the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. This journal aims to be a vehicle for the presentation of studies involved with theory and description of Pidgins and Creoles. They are also concerned with how this kind of studies may be useful in education and social reform in creole-speaking communities. Besides some attractive external links, there is a list of grammars and a glossary of terms related to the study of Pidgin and Creole languages.

Education of Pidgin and Creole speaking students

1. http://victorian.fortunecity.com/vangogh/555/Spell/pidjin.htm

This website talks about the spelling system of English-based Pidgins and Creoles. There are some examples comparing English and English-based languages spelling, leading to the conclusion that it is necessary to consider the existing differences when educating Creole speakers. The author finalizes this page asking an intriguing question: is English a Creole?

2. http://www.une.edu.au/langnet/
A very well organized website about non-standard language varieties, in which Pidgins and Creoles are included. There is a list of books and websites on this subject, focusing mainly the education of Creole speaking students. Besides that, it is possible to download and hear some sentences in Creole languages.

3. http://www.hawaii.edu/spcl03/pace/
PACE means "Pidgins and Creoles in Education". It is an annual publication on Pidgins and Creoles, and it is possible to read their articles on this website. Besides reading their articles on this website, there is an option for the ones without access to the internet: PACE distributes free printed copies of their Newsletter.

Websites on specific Pidgins and Creole languages


This page brings a brief text about Cape Verdean Creole in the United States. Although it is a very simple page, there are some interesting information about this language and, in the end, there is a poem written in Cape Verdean Creole (and translated into English) that is very touching and representative of the culture of this Creole's speakers.

2. http://www.kreol.mu/CreoleLanguages.htm
A website about the languages spoken in Mauritius, with articles about Mauritian Creole. There is also an interesting guide on Creole for travellers, with greeting phrases, idiomatic phrases, and instructions on how to ask your way in Creole.

3. http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/staff/mark/resource/bibliog.htm
This website has a bibliography on British Creoles. As it is divided in different categories, the student may know from where to start reading, depending on his or her level of knowledge.

4. http://si.unm.edu/linguistics/pidgin/pidgin.html
This page brings some information about Havaiian Creole and lists a good number of website for further details.

Associations for the study of Pidgins and Creole languages

1. http://www.umac.mo/fsh/dp/acblpe/en/intro.html
The Association for Portuguese and Spanish Lexically Based Creole Languages studies Iberian Romance-based Pidgins and Creoles. It is a non-profit organization, and anyone involved in the study of these languages may become a member. In their website, it is possible to know more about their purposes and activities. There are also some links to other worth reading websites.

2. http://www.cpcs.freeservers.com/
CPCS, the Centre for Pidgin and Creole Studies, is located in Benin City, Nigeria. This a non-profit and non-governmental association. In their website, it is possible to understand more about their four main areas or services: research, education, consultancy, and sociocultural development. Nowadays there is a lack of funds that restricts their activities to the publication of a book and the construction of a center for the study of pidgin and creole languages.

3. http://www.mona.uwi.edu/dllp/spcl/home.html.
The society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics is dedicated to the study and documentation of Pidgins and Creoles worldwide, as well as languages influencing them or influenced by them. In their website, there are the programs of their past conferences, as well as a schedule of their upcoming meetings.

4. http://www.scl-online.net//pages/sclhome.html
The Society for Caribbean Linguistics focuses on both the theoretical and applied researches of its members. Nowadays, they are studying more intensely the development of languages and their role in Caribbean education. In this website, you can learn about their history, goals, publications and conferences.