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The creoleness of Unserdeutsch (Rabaul Creole German): A typological perspective

  • In this paper, we discuss to what extent the German-based contact language Unserdeutsch (Rabaul Creole German, cf. Volker 1982) matches the category‘creole language’ from both a socio-historical and structural perspective. As a point of reference, we will use typological criteria that are widely supposed to be typical for creole languages. It is shown that Unserdeutsch fits fairly well into the pattern of an ‘average creole’, as has been suggested by data in the Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures (Michaelis et al. 2013). This is despite a series of atypical conditions in its development that might lead us to expect a close structural proximity to the lexifier language, i.e. a relatively acrolectal creole. A possible explanation for this striking discrepancy can be found in the primary function of Unserdeutsch as a marker of identity as well as in the linguistic structure of its substrate language Tok Pisin.

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Author:Siegwalt LindenfelserORCiDGND, Péter MaitzGND
Parent Title (English):Language Contact in the German Colonies: Papua New Guinea and beyond
Publisher:Linguistic Society of Papua New Guinea
Place of publication:Papua-Neuguinea
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2017
Date of Publication (online):2023/08/03
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
Tag:Creole languages; German-based; Rabaul Creole German; Unserdeutsch; language structure; language universals; linguistic typology
GND Keyword:Kreolische Sprachen; Neumelanesisch; Sprachkontakt; Substrat <Linguistik>; Unserdeutsch
First Page:91
Last Page:142
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Linguistics-Classification:Dialektologie / Sprachgeografie
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt