English and drama

Pidgins and Creoles

Module code: Q1086B
Level 5
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module represents an introduction to pidgin and creole languages, focusing on their structural properties (morphology, syntax and phonology). Grammatical properties discussed include topics such as word order, tense mood and aspect systems, serial verb constructions, relative clauses and information structure. Phonological properties discussed include a description of creole sound systems and their prosodic properties, from syllable structure to tone. The module also explores the unique sociocultural history of pidgins and creoles and theoretical approaches to their emergence, exploring the circumstances under which creole formation can occur and theories concerning the origin of the grammatical features found in creoles. Finally, the module will also provide a typological survey of creoles, looking at creoles from around the world, and creoles with different lexifier languages, beside English.

Module learning outcomes

  • Define and explain certain morphological, syntactic and phonological features of pidgin and creole languages.
  • Explain and critically evaluate certain theoretical approaches to these phenomena.
  • Implement this acquired knowledge in the analysis of natural language data from pidgin and creole varieties.
  • Demonstrate a critical approach to theory construction.