The English Language: Past, present and future Pidgins and Creoles-Processes of Colonization

Essay by literati July 2005

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Distinguish between pidgins and creoles and explain how their distinctive grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary have emerged in different parts of the world due to the processes of colonialization. Support your answer with close reference to at least two case studies.



In the first part of this essay, I will define what colonialization is. I will then briefly describe the history of pidgins and creoles, the purpose of their formation, and how this language had become the importance for trade and slavery. In the second part of this essay, I will explore the two case studies given and illustrate their distinctive in grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and together with some linguist examples to support my stand. Lastly, I would discuss the status and identity of the two different types of creoles research done by John Rickford.

Many historians have argued that one of the factors whereby English has been a leading language from different parts of the world is because of colonialization.

European expansion and colonization was a primary catalyst for many of the pidgins and creoles known today. Some Historians also believed that these languages have risen for the purpose of trade and slavery. According to Dick Leith, an independent part of any definition of colonization must relate to the pattern of social, economic and political inequalities which privileged the English language and those who spoke it. (cited in Leith, 2002). Colonization lasted more than 300 years affecting many countries, and forming new varieties of English. Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French and German, known to be the main colonial powers.

In 1562, Sir John Hawkins an Elizabethan Englishman together with is crew of 100 men and three ships sailed to the coast of West Africa and captured 300 Africans. These Africans were then traded for pearls, sugar, ginger and local...