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Creolists have long debated the role of sociocultural ecologies and superstrate/substrate typology in the formation of new contact languages. The present study broadens this discussion by examining the pronominal systems of two pidgins that formed in Fiji – Pidgin Hindustani and Pidgin Fijian. Both pidgins have smaller pronoun paradigms than do their lexifiers, but differ in the kind and degree of restructuring they exhibit. This study conducts a systematic typological comparison of the languages present in the feature pools of both pidgins, in search of selectional factors that shaped their systems of person reference. I argue that within this grammatical subdomain, Pidgin Hindustani and Pidgin Fijian each lend support to different models of pidgin formation, suggesting that pidginization is not a single deterministic process with a prototypical typological outcome.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: pidgins ; Fiji ; contact-induced change ; pronouns ; contact languages
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