Tok Pisin

/tawk" pis"in/
Neo-Melanesian.

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       pidgin spoken in Papua New Guinea, hence its identification in some earlier works as New Guinea Pidgin. It was also once called Neo-Melanesian, apparently according to the hypothesis that all English-based Melanesian pidgins developed from the same proto-pidgin. It is one of the three official languages of Papua New Guinea, along with English and Hiri Motu.

      Tok Pisin (literally, “talk pidgin”) is one of the Pacific pidgins that emerged during the second half of the 19th century on copra and sugarcane plantations to which labour was imported from Melanesia, Malaysia, and China. The extensive multilingualism that resulted called for a lingua franca. People who had traveled to Papua New Guinea from plantations in Samoa and Queensland, Austl., resorted to the pidgin that had developed there, as apparently did those from coastal China.

      The indigenous Melanesian languages share several grammatical features, including a transitive marker on the verb, a dual/plural distinction, an inclusive/exclusive distinction in the first person plural pronoun, relative clauses that start or end with a demonstrative, and a numeral classifying system. These features were incorporated into Tok Pisin. Thus, the inclusive yumitupela ‘we' means, literally, ‘you and me'; in contrast, the exclusive mitupela ‘we' means ‘me and somebody else other than you.' The forms yumitupela and mitupela are dual and denote ‘two,' in contrast to mitripela ‘the three of us (excluding you)' and mipela ‘all of us (excluding you).' An intransitive verb such as kuk ‘cook' is changed to kuk-im before an object noun. Pela, from English fellow, is the general classifier that combines with numerals, as in tupela meri ‘two women.'

      Nearly the same grammatical distinctions are made in other Melanesian pidgins, such as Bislama (Vanuatu). These features constitute some of the clearest evidence that pidgin systems are not necessarily simpler than those of the languages from which they derived most of their vocabularies and that influence from the languages previously spoken by those who developed the systems (substrates) is incontrovertible in these cases. Such substrate influence is evident also in the sound system of Tok Pisin, where English /f/ has been replaced by /p/ and /š/ by /s/, as in pinis ‘finish.'

      Tok Pisin is considered an expanded pidgin, as complex as a creole (creole languages), as it is spoken in urban settings as a vernacular rather than as an occasional lingua franca. The nature and theoretical foundation of the distinction between an expanded pidgin and a creole is an issue of current debate among linguists.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tok Pisin — Spoken in  Papua New Guinea Native speakers 122,000  (2004) 4 million L2 speakers Language family …   Wikipedia

  • Tok Pisin — Parlée en Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée Nombre de locuteurs 2 millions, dont 500 000 natifs Classification par famille créoles créoles à base lexicale anglaise tok pisin (Dérivée de la classification SIL) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tok pisin — Parlée en  Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée !Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée Nombre de locuteurs 2 millions, dont 500 000 natifs …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tok Pisin — Gesprochen in Papua Neuguinea Sprecher 120.000 Muttersprachler ca. 3 4 Millionen Zweitsprachler Linguistische Klassifikation Kreolsprachen englischbasiert Tok Pisin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tok Pisin — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Tok Pisin o Pindin inglés Tok Pisin Hablado en  Papúa Nueva Guinea Hablantes • Nativos: • Otros: 3.5 millones …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tok pisin — o Pindin inglés Tok Pisin Hablado en  Papúa Nueva Guinea Hablantes • Nativos: • Otros: 3.5 millones • 120.000 •  3 millones F …   Wikipedia Español

  • tok pisin — tȍk pìsin m DEFINICIJA lingv. kreolski jezik sa službenim statusom na Papui Novoj Gvineji, nastao na osnovi engleskoga …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Tok Pisin — noun /tɔk pɪzɪn/ a) A creole of Indo European, Malayo Polynesian and Trans New Guinean languages (principally English and Kuanua); one of the official languages of Papua New Guinea. b) Tok Pisin Syn: Melanesian Pidgin English, Neo Melanesian See… …   Wiktionary

  • Tok Pisin — [tɒk pɪsɪn] noun an English based Creole used as a commercial and administrative language in Papua New Guinea. Origin the name in Tok Pisin, lit. pidgin talk …   English new terms dictionary

  • Tok Pisin — /tɒk ˈpɪzən/ (say tok pizuhn) noun the English based lingua franca of Papua New Guinea; originally a Melanesian pidgin, now undergoing creolisation. {Tok Pisin: literally, talk pidgin} …   Australian English dictionary

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