A Corpus-based Study of Tok Pisin with particular reference to Word Formation

Pidgin languages have their origins in the eighteenth century and arose from the need for two or more peoples to communicate where a common language did not exist. A pidgin can be described as one of four types depending on where in the process of development it occurs, jargon, pidgin, extended or expanded pidgin and Creole. .

The aim of this study is to compare Tok Pisin with English and, in doing so, try to determine whether it is a developing language, moving forwards in its own right, or whether it is a language in the process of disappearing. This possibility was discussed in 1985 by Don Laycock in the article “The Future of Tok Pisin“, where he predicts that the language will decline in popularity and use and that “… in perhaps 50 years time, Tok Pisin will most likely be being studied by scholars among a small community of old men.”


1. Introduction
2 . Aim
3. Materials and Method
4. Background
4.1 Historical Background
4.2 Current Areas of Use
4.3 Simplified English?
5. Word formation
5.1 Word Formation in Wantok
5.2 Reduplication
5.3 Neologisms
5.3.1 New Prepositions?
5.3.2 A new plural form
6. Conclusion

Author: Sheila Feldmanis

Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology

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