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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Pacific studies
Title Pidgin English in Fiji: A sociolinguistic history
Volume 9
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1986
Page numbers 53
URL http://docplayer.net/40187299-Pidgin-english-in-fiji-a-sociolinguistic-history-jeff-siegel-pacific-l​anguages-unit-university-of-the-south-pacific-vila-vanuatu.html
The purpose of this article is to clarify the sociolinguistic picture ofFiji’s smaller plantations by documenting to what extent Fijian and pidgin English were used. The evidence comes mainly from published and archival materials, including travelers’ accounts, newspaper articles, journals, letters, official reports, and court records. These sources contain observations of the linguistic scene, an indication of contemporary attitudes toward language, and quotations that can be used as linguistic data. Clark (1979:23-24) has commented on the reliability of this kind of evidence, and he and other authors (such as Mühlhäusler1978) have used it extensively in their work.

This article first reviews information presented in Siegel 1982 show-ing that it was Fijian rather than English that was used among speakers of different languages in Fiji before and during the plantation era, Itgoes on to give a detailed account of the limited use of pidgin English inFiji, and to present additional evidence concerning the major role of varieties of Fijian. Finally, the article suggests some reasons to explain how and why the sociolinguistic picture in Fiji differed from that of other places in the Pacific region.

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