Pidgins and Creoles (Q1086B)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module is an introduction to pidgin and creole languages. It focuses on their structural properties – morphology, syntax and phonology.

Grammatical properties discussed include 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.

We’ll examine the unique sociocultural history of pidgins and creoles, including:

  • theoretical approaches to their emergence
  • the circumstances under which creole formation can occur
  • theories concerning the origin of the grammatical features found in creoles.

Finally, the module will also provide a typological survey of creoles. We’ll look at creoles from around the world, and creoles with different lexifier languages, beside English.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: