A creole is a language descended from a pidgin that has become the native language of a group of people. The majority of creole languages are based on English and other Indo-European languages (their superstrate language), with local or immigrant languages as substrate languages. Study of Creole languages around the world (in particular by Derek Bickerton) has suggested that they display remarkable similarities in grammar, lending support to the theory of a Universal Grammar; critics, however, argue that his examples are largely drawn from creoles derived from European languages, and that non-European-based creoles such as Nubi or Sango display fewer similarities.
Pidgins are rudimentary languages improvised by non-native speakers; when pidgins creolize, however, they develop fully-formed and stable grammar structures, usually as a result of the pidgin being natively learned by children (see Nicaraguan Sign Language). In some cases the group of people who speak such a language are called Creoles.
Below are described some of the better-known creoles.
An Arabic-based creole spoken by descendants of Sudanese soldiers mainly in Kenya and Uganda, formed in the nineteenth century from a Sudanese Arabic-based pidgin used for intercommunication among southern Sudanese ethnic groups. See also Varieties of Arabic.
A major language of inter-ethnic communication in Equatoria (southern Sudan), creolized from the same pidgin Arabic as Ki-Nubi.
Babalia Creole Arabic
A Shuwa Arabic -based creole spoken in 23 villages of the Chari-Baguirmi Prefecture in southwestern Chad; the substrate language was Berakou .
Native American creoles
was used as a trade language by Native Americans prior to, and shortly after, contact with Europeans. It contains elements of Cree and many neighboring Native American languages. After European contact, it also began incorporating elements of French and English. While not strictly speaking a creole, it had well-defined grammar, phonology, and vocabulary, and thus can be placed in the category of creoles.
In Guyana, the two Dutch-based creoles Berbice Dutch Creole and Skepi Dutch Creole were formerly widespread; the latter is extinct, and the former declining fast. In the US Virgin Islands, Negerhollands , now extinct, was also a Dutch-based creole. There is also a Dutch-influenced creole spoken in Netherlands Antilles, called Papiamento, but it is originally a Portuguese-based creole.
Singlish is a creole based on British-English. It originated in Singapore, and spread to parts of Malaysia. It is a mixture of mainly Mandarin, Hokkien(a Chinese dialect), Tamil(an Indian dialect) and British English.
Bislama (older Bêche-la-mar) is an English-based creole, and is the national language of Vanuatu.
Hawaiian Pidgin began as a pidgin jargon used in the early European colonization of the Hawaiian Islands. English served as the superstrate language, with Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Hawaiian elements incorporated. Children started using it as a lingua franca, and by the 20's it had creolized and become a minor language of Hawaii, as it still is today.
is spoken in Liberia, and has English and French as superstrate languages, with several Bantu languages as substrate languages.
Also known as Roper River Creole, has become the major non-English language among Aboriginal Australians with over 10,000 first language speakers.
Miskito Creole English
From contact of Miskito Indians of the coasts of Nicaragua and the Honduras with the British. Spoken in the coastal areas. Also known as NORTHERN CENTRAL AMERICA CREOLE ENGLISH
Spoken exclusively by the inhabitants of the Pitcairn Islands and Pitcairnese migrants in Norfolk Island, an 18th century dialect of English is spoken with the Tahitian language to form the Creole language known as Pitcairnese, or Norfuk in Norfolk Island.
is spoken throughout Papua New Guinea. English is the superstrate language, with various Papuan languages providing grammatical and lexical input.
Spoken by Torres Straits Islanders.
is a language spoken primarily in Haiti. French is its superstrate language, with numerous African languages and some local indigenous languages providing substrate input.
is a language spoken primarily in Dominica and St. Lucia.
Louisiana creole, spoken mainly by African American Creoles in Louisiana.
Spoken as the lingua franca in Mauritius
Also known as Seselwa, Seychellois Creole is an official language, along with English and French, as well as the lingua franca of the Seychelles.
Spoken in Brazil, mostly in Amapá state. It has influenced by Portuguese as a substrate. It was developed by immigrants from neighboring French Guiana and French territories of Carribean Sea.
or Rabaul Creol German.
Unserdeutsch means "our German".
It is a language spoken primarily in Papua New Guinea and the northeast of Australia and almost extinct.
It was formed among the New Guinean children residing in a German-run orphanage.
Only a few native speakers are still alive. ISO-Code 639-2: crp
For further information, see on Malay Creole
Sango, the national language of the Central African Republic, is considered by many linguists to be a Ngbandi-based creole with some French influence. Other linguists do not regard it as a creole.
There are several Portuguese Creoles:
Also known as Sri Lanka Portuguese (Creole). Spoken in Sri Lanka, local languages are the substrate.
Creoles of Cape Verde
Spoken in Cape Verde, at least, two creoles. Some locals refer 10 different creoles, one for each inhabited island and two for the island of Santiago. Several African substrate languages.
Creoles of India
Various creoles were largely spoken in India, the remaining are under threat: Crioulo de Diu , Crioulo de Vaipim , Língua da Casa and Kristi.
Creoles of São Tomé and Príncipe
Three different Creole languages are spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe, all based in Portuguese: Forro, Lunguyê and Lungua N'golá , several African languages work as substrate. Lunga N'Golá is based on Bantu languages.
Language of the island of Annobón, Equatorial Guinea, related to Forro from São Tomé and Príncipe.
Ancient creole and the first Portuguese creole. Also known as Crioulo it is spoken in Guinea-Bissau and Senegal the local African languages are the substrate. Divided into three dialectal groups. It is the Lingua franca of Guinea-Bissau.
Spoken in Macao, and Hong-Kong. Chinese, Malay and Indian languages as substrate. Also influenced by English, Spanish, and Japanese.
Spoken in Malacca, Malaysia. Malay is substrate.
Spoken in Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, the Dutch West Indies. Spanish influenced.
Spoken in Suriname; of all creoles, it is one of the most divergent from its source languages. It has developed tones. Linguists dispute whether it is a heavily English-influenced Portuguese creole, supported by SIL Surinam and Ian Hancock ; or a somewhat Portuguese-influenced English creole; the latter view is supported by Derek Bickerton and John McWhorter. It is heavily influenced by Kongo and Gbe.
For information on Spanish-based Creole languages see Spanish Creole.