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9 votes

Why are mixed languages so rare?

I wouldn't say that mixed languages are particularly rare, we can observe them in language contact situations all over the world, as pidgins, creoles, and vernaculars of specific ethnic groups. But it ...
9 votes

How does Tok Pisin get by with just a few prepositions?

According to the Tok Pisin Wikibook, Tok Pisin does have compound prepositions beyond the two "basic" prepositions. There are two basic prepositions in Tok Pisin: bilong and long. bilong ...
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6 votes

What is the full distinction between creoles and other natural languages?

A creole is usually defined as a specific form of socially-influenced language change, one where a pidgin language was spoken, and it gained sufficiently wide-spread usage to the point that it was ...
  • 70k
6 votes
Accepted

Why Creole languages aren't the default

Why aren't Creole languages the default? For the same reason that many (most? all?) living creatures have more than one eye. They live in environments which select for plurality of eyes, so natural ...
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4 votes

Minimum population for language survival

Theoretically, there isn't a minimum population for a language to survive, because a speech community can theoretically be of any size. Even if the speech community dwindles to one person, that last ...
  • 2,705
3 votes
Accepted

Do mixed languages have families?

Creoles are not usually viewed as members of the parent languages' family. Nor (obviously) are they viewed as isolates: typically they are simply grouped with other creoles that share a parent. For ...
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2 votes
Accepted

How did "li" come to mean "here" in Cape Verdean Creole?

I'm not familiar with these languages, so I can't give a complete answer to your question. I just wanted to point out that "opposites" is a pretty strong term for two words with such similar meanings ...
  • 16.7k
2 votes

Do mixed languages have families?

First, mixed languages, pidgins, and creoles are all different things, so you should beware using the term "mixed language" as a synonym for pidgin or creole. The overarching term that would include ...
2 votes

Why are mixed languages so rare?

prevent the emergence of mixed languages? jk makes a great point about the stability of the "mixed languages". However, stability is rarely seen in any established languages either. So ...
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1 vote

What would /ɯ/ most likely be replaced by?

I'm afraid no-one has collected comprehensive data yet for sound shifts due to borrowing/naturalizing foreign sounds. As a substitute we have some diachronic data (link to the Searchable Index ...
1 vote

Minimum population for language survival

The answer is zero. Hebrew became extinct after around 200 and 400 CE and got revived in the 19th century. There also are fluent Klingon speakers (the imaginary language spoken by the Klingons in ...
1 vote

Minimum population for language survival

Language transmission can occur in different ways. Generally, a language is learned inside a group social. So, theoretically, without considering external considerations (peer pressure, motivation, ......
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1 vote

Help identifying words in unknown language from the Caribbean

Koen Bostoen would know the answer. The known resources on Vili are listed here. Kongo "goat" would be along the lines of nkombo and "lion" is nkosi, but there are many forms of Kongo: these are from ...
  • 70k
1 vote

A language that was a creole/pidgin long ago

I've read a lot of John McWhorter's many books on this very topic. It is controversial, e.g. Latin, according to Stephane Goyette, simplified as it spread over the peninsula, not at the point Latin ...
1 vote

What sound change(s) underlie [iʒ-] in São Vicente?

Without historical data on the dialect, I'd think that the second hypothesis (Or might this be best explained as dropping the [u] by syncope and adding a [i] by prothesis?) sounds natural and ...
1 vote

Are there examples of pidgins or creoles in sign languages? If so, which are the major ones?

From North America, Plains Sign Language is what Wikipedia describes as "formerly a trade pidgin". This language replaced another one called Plateau Sign Language which is described as a &...
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