pidgin english

The Fragile State of Contact Languages

John Wenz (Knowable Magazine)

The origin stories of these linguistic mashups vary. Some are peaceful, such as when groups meet for trade and need a lingua franca: Nigerian Pidgin English, for example, allows speakers of over 500 tongues to communicate. But others were born of tragedy and violence — like Haitian Creole, Gullah Geechee, Jamaican Creole and many others that arose from the Atlantic slave trade, when West African peoples combined several tongues with English, creating everyday languages often used among slaves.

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