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Ethnohistory of speaking

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Abstract

Because most non-European pidgins-creoles have not survived into modern times, their study requires alternative, complementary historical analyses under the heading of the ethno<i>history</i> of speaking: philology (or the systematic reconstitution of early attestations by triangulation with contemporaneous or modern comparative linguistic data) and ethnohistory (or the critical interpretation of historical documents by ethnological criteria). Three examples illustrate Maritime Polynesian Pidgin, a Polynesian-based pidgin of the eastern Pacific for the early colonial period, with grammatical patterns and uses reminiscent of Pidgin Hawaiian, but extending regionally to the Society Islands, New Zealand, and overseas locations and with a greater time depth since the late eighteenth century. These data also lend startling support to the &#8220;broken Polynesian&#8221; portion of South Seas Jargon (Clark 1977, 1979).

References

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