Exploring Pidgins and Creoles languages

Is African American English a creole?

Over 10 million people across the world speak pidgins and creoles either as first languages or as lingua franca. These languages are born out of contact between culturally and linguistically diverse groups of people, but because these languages are of mixed linguistic pedigrees, they are often incorrectly considered inauthentic.

Pidgins are structurally simplified languages that serve as communication vehicles between groups of people who speak mutually unintelligible languages. Creole languages uniquely focus linguistic characteristics from two or more donor languages into new languages that are native to their speakers.

Topics in Linguistics: Pidgin and Creole Languages

Join us this fall and study the grammatical systems, history and cognitive effects of pidginization, creolization and decreolization, and more! This course can serve as an elective for graduate students in linguistics, English, African American studies, anthropology, communication, sociology and many other disciplines in the humanities.

Course details

  • Typical linguistic organization of pidgins and creoles including their unique tense/ aspect systems
  • The historical development of a specific pidgin language and a specific creole language
  • Processes of pidginization, creolization and decreolization
  • How creoles reputedly reveal the cognitive structure of humans via the bioprogram hypothesis (Derek
  • Discussion of whether or not African American English (AAE) is a creole


For more information, contact walter.edwards@wayne.edu.

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