Language Contact in the Early Colonial Pacific

Language Contact in the Early Colonial Pacific : Maritime Polynesian Pidgin before Pidgin English

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This volume presents a historical-sociolinguistic description and analysis of Maritime Polynesian Pidgin. It offers linguistic and sociohistorical substantiation for a regional Eastern Polynesian-based pidgin, and challenges conventional Eurocentric assumptions about early colonial contact in the eastern Pacific by arguing that Maritime Polynesian Pidgin preceded the introduction of Pidgin English by as much as a century. Emanuel J. Drechsel not only opens up new methodological avenues for historical-sociolinguistic research in Oceania by a combination of philology and ethnohistory, but also gives greater recognition to Pacific Islanders in early contact between cultures. Students and researchers working on language contact, language typology, historical linguistics and sociolinguistics will want to read this book. It redefines our understanding of how Europeans and Americans interacted with Pacific Islanders in Eastern Polynesia during early encounters and offers an alternative model of language contact.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 4 maps 3 tables
  • 1139057561
  • 9781139057561

Review quote

'This study is of major importance, highlighting the key role of Hawaiian in shaping interethnic contact, and showing how Hawaiian and East Polynesian linguistic unity profoundly affected early European contact throughout the Pacific.' William H. Wilson, University of Hawai'i 'Drechsel has presented a painstakingly researched account of the language varieties that arose during early contacts between Europeans and Polynesians. His account fills a major gap in our knowledge of Pacific contact language, maritime Pidgins and their social and structural properties.' Peter Muhlhausler, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University of Adelaide
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Table of contents

Part I. Questions, Theories, and Methods of Historical Sociolinguistics: 1. Introduction; 2. Maritime Polynesian Pidgin and Pidgin and Creole linguistics; 3. Ethnohistory of speaking as a historical-sociolinguistic methodology; Part II. Historical Attestations of Maritime Polynesian Pidgin (MPP): 4. Emergence, stabilization, and expansion; 5. Resilience against depidginization and relexification; 6. Survival in niches; Part III. Structure, Function, and History of Maritime Polynesian Pidgin: 7. Linguistic patterns; 8. History and social functions; 9. Conclusions: linguistic, sociohistorical, and theoretical implications.
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