The Role of the Social in Pidgin and Creole Language Formation
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Creole and pidgin languages have long been maligned and misunderstood. Their place in linguistics has likewise been misunderstood and politically charged. It used to be thought that they did not exhibit any "grammar" and were unsystematic corruptions of standard languages. There is no lack of anecdotal reporting of indigenous peoples' language use when communicating with Europeans in colonies. Much of this condescending treatment of natives' language use seemed to serve European ideas of the limited intelligence of native peoples. A number of linguists, notably Schuchardt, conducted serious linguistic analysis and found that there are, indeed, regular systems at work. His work helped to give validity to the languages, however, creole languages continue to be stigmatized.