Date: Tue, 28 Feb 1995 20:53:42 -0500


Subject: Re: Long time, no see

Readers interested in further sources on Chinese Pidgin English who

wish to consult reliable modern linguistic works might investigate:

Robert Hall (Jr., by the way) 1944, "Chinese Pidgin English grammar

and texts" in JAOS 64: 95-113 (Jrl of the Am. Oriental Soc.);

Philip Baker 1987, "Historical developments in Chinese Pidgin

English...", Jrl. of Pidgin & Creole Languages 2(2): 163-207.

The pidgin was used in coastal California into the 19th century, and

in Hong Kong until more recently (see K. K. Luke & J. C. Richards

1982, "English in Hong Kong: functions and status", English World-Wide


John Holm gives a brief summary of what is known (very

little having been written) in his standard reference work 'Pidgins

and Creoles', vol. 2.

There has been a great deal learned about pidgins in general

since the earlier works cited in previous messages and it would be

surprising if they were entirely up-to-date in their attributions.

The most detailed and careful work has been published in

German by w. Bisang (1985, 'Das chinesische pidgin-englisch', U. of

Amsterdam Area Studies no. 58) and A. Bauer (1975, 'Das Kanton-

Englisch:...' Frankfort, Peter Lang).

As noted before on the list, some usages commonly attributed

to CPE are indeed relexified Chinese ("look-see" being simply Chinese

'kan-jian', "no can do" = 'bu ke-yi', "chop-chop" Cant. 'chop-chop'

for "quickly"), but others which are said to be so are not so simple,

as Hall pointed out elsewhere ("Pidgin English and linguistic change",

1952, Lingua 3: 138-146).

More needs to be done on CPE and its connection with both other

Pacific English- and Portuguese-related pidgins and creoles.

--peter patrick