Volume 31, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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In the early stages of the China trade European traders knew nothing of Chinese, while the Chinese traders were equally ignorant of European languages. It was in this setting that pidgin languages developed for interethnic communication. While the role of Chinese Pidgin English in the China trade is fairly well-understood (see Baker 1987; Baker & Mühlhäusler 1990; Bolton 2003; Ansaldo 2009), the use of pidgin Portuguese is poorly documented and our understanding of it is correspondingly limited (Tryon, Mühlhäusler & Baker 1996). In this article we discuss what can be learnt from a newly transcribed phrasebook — the . We first review the use of contact varieties of Portuguese in the China trade. We then introduce the contents and layout of the and explain the transcription practices adopted for the phrasebook. Grammatical features contained in the phrasebook are examined and illustrated. We conclude with an examination of the significance of the in enriching our understanding of pidgin Portuguese and its relationship with Macau Creole Portuguese as well as Chinese Pidgin English.


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