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Lexicography’s entanglement with colonialism: The history of Tok Pisin lexicography as colonial history

  • Tok Pisin is a pidgin/creole language spoken since the late 19th century in most of the area that nowadays constitutes Papua New Guinea where it emerged under German colonial rule. Unusual for a pidgin/creole, Tok Pisin is characterized by a extensive lexicographic history. The Tok Pisin Dictionary Collection at the Leibniz Institute for the German Language, described in this article, includes about fifty dictionaries. The collection forms the basis for the sketch of the history of Tok Pisin lexicography as part of colonial history presented here. The basic thesis is that in the history of Tok Pisin, lexicographic strategies, dictionary structures, and publication patterns reflect the interest (and disinterest) of various groups of colonial actors. Among these colonial actors, European scientists, Catholic missionaries, and the Australian and US militaries played important roles.

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Author:Stefan EngelbergORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Dictionaries and Society. Book of ­Abstracts of the XX EURALEX International Congress, 12-16 July 2022, Mannheim, Germany
Place of publication:Mannheim
Editor:Annette Klosa-Kückelhaus, Stefan Engelberg, Christine Möhrs, Petra Storjohann
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2022
Date of Publication (online):2022/07/12
Tag:Pidgin; Tok Pisin; colonial linguistics; colonialism; history of lexicography; lexicography and war; missionary linguistics
GND Keyword:Historische Sprachwissenschaft; Kolonialismus; Lexikografie; Neumelanesisch
First Page:46
Last Page:46
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 420 Englisch
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Program areas:L2: Lexikalische Syntagmatik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland