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Department of Cultural Studies
English Linguistics

Pidgins and Creoles

Course Information

Nr. Name Type Time Room Lecturer
154154 Pidgins and Creoles 2 HS Tu 14:15 - 15:45 R. 3.206 Ahlers

This course deals with the study of how new languages come into being in contact situations. It surveys the new languages that developed as a result of the European expansion to the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Long misunderstood as 'bad' versions of European languages, today, varieties such as Jamaican Creole English, Haitian Creole French and New Guinea Pidgin are recognised as distinct languages in their own right.

We will start with the basic concepts of language contact and how pidgins and creoles have been defined in the literature. We will then closely examine aspects of their structure in terms of lexis, sound systems and grammar. To improve the understanding of the social context of these structures, we then look at the social history of the speakers. Once the theoretical foundation has been fully developed, students will each pick a Creole to focus on and present it as a case study to the rest of the course. In the last few sessions, we will discuss current methods and debates in Creolistics.


Course readings are outlined in the syllabus and will be discussed in the first session.

Course requirements are outlined in the syllabus and will be discussed in the first session.



2009 603, 703, 704 603, 802 603, 701, 702, 802 703
2016 603, 703, 704 603, 802, 803 603, 701, 702, 802, 803 703

Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften &
Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:

PO ab WS 16/17 Kern: 
Kern: 6bc, 7bc
Komp: 4ac
  1ab, 2ab, 3a
PO ab WS 21/22 Kern: 
Kern: 6bc, 7ab, 8c
Komp: 4ac
  1abcd, 2ab, 3abc, 4ab