The evolutionary trajectory of Cameroonian Creole and its varying sociolinguistic statuses

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The different names the contact language spoken in Cameroon has had at different historical points significantly reveal the complex evolutionary itinerary of the language and its varying sociolinguistic statuses. After the Portuguese era (ca. 1469 – 1600), which had Pidgin Portuguese as the main lingua franca, the language has had such names as “Pidgin English”, “Neger Englisch”, “Cameroons Creole”, “Cameroonian”, “Cameroon Pidgin English”, “Kumba English”, “Kamtok”, and “Cameroonian Creole”. This article makes an appraisal of these names in terms of how they reveal sociolinguistic information about the language (history, functions and status) and information about the country where it is spoken.


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