Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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Evidence recently unearthed in documentary sources (such as voyage accounts and Hawaiian-language newspapers) has failed to support the theory that the predominant plantation language and lingua franca of Hawaii's polyglot population in the 19th century was an English-lexifier pidgin. Available evidence actually indicates that a pidginized variety of Hawaiian (which began to develop almost immediately after first contact) formed the original plantation language, and began to be displaced by pidgin English only in the 1880s and 1890s. This Hawaiian-lexifier pidgin also served as a general communicative medium in competition with pidgin English outside the plantation communities. Its prevalence may explain the slow development of pidgin English in Hawaii and late creolization.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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