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Encyclopedia > Tok Pisin
Tok Pisin
Spoken in: Papua New Guinea
Total speakers: 3–4 million; 120,000 native speakers
Language family: English-based creole 
Official status
Official language of: Papua New Guinea
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: tpi
ISO 639-3: tpi

Tok Pisin (tok means "word" or "speech" as in "talk", pisin means "pidgin") is the creole spoken in northern mainland Papua New Guinea, the National Capital District, and the New Guinea Islands. It is one of the official languages of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in that country, spoken by about 4 million people as a second language and over a hundred thousand as a first language. Tok Pisin is also—perhaps more commonly in English—called New Guinea Pidgin and, largely in academic contexts, Melanesian Pidgin English or Neo-Melanesian. Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from any parent. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... Unicode is an industry standard designed to allow text and symbols from all of the writing systems of the world to be consistently represented and manipulated by computers. ... A pidgin, or contact language, is the name given to any language created, usually spontaneously, out of two or more languages as a means of communication between speakers of different tongues, and usually a simplified form of one of the languages. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from any parent. ...


Given that Papua New Guinean anglophones almost invariably refer to Tok Pisin as Pidgin when speaking English, it may be considered something of an affectation to call it Tok Pisin, much like referring to German and French as Deutsch and français in English. However, Tok Pisin is favoured by many professional linguistics specialists out of a desire to avoid spreading the misconception that Tok Pisin is still a pidgin language; although it was originally a pidgin, Tok Pisin is now considered a distinct language in its own right due to there being speakers of it for whom it is a first language and not merely a lingua franca to facilitate communication with speakers of other languages. Since its formation, it has been steadily developing a more complex and unique grammar as it has undergone creolization. Look up Anglophone in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A pidgin, or contact language, is the name given to any language created, usually spontaneously, out of two or more languages as a means of communication between speakers of different tongues, and usually a simplified form of one of the languages. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from any parent. ...

Contents

Classification

Tok Pisin's origins lie in the intermixing of Pacific Islanders who spoke numerous different languages as they were sent to work on plantations in Queensland and various islands (see South Sea Islander and Blackbirding). The labourers began to develop a pidgin, based primarily on English. The pidgin also took vocabulary from German, Portuguese and various Austronesian languages spoken on these labourers' islands of origin. This English-based pidgin evolved into Tok Pisin in German New Guinea (where the German-based creole Unserdeutsch was also spoken). It became the lingua franca -- and language of interaction between rulers and ruled and among the ruled themselves who did not share a common vernacular; the closely-related Bislama in Vanuatu, and Pijin in the Solomon Islands developed in parallel. Its flourishing in German New Guinea despite the language of the metropolitan power being German, obviously, rather than English, is to be contrasted with Hiri Motu, the lingua franca of Papua, which was derived not from English but from Motu, the vernacular of the indigenous people of the Port Moresby area. For general context see White Australia Policy. ... Blackbirding refers to the recruitment of people through trickery and kidnappings to work on plantations, particularly the sugar cane plantations of Queensland (Australia) and Fiji[1] , as well as in the early days of the pearling industry in Broome. ... German New Guinea (Ger. ... Unserdeutsch (Our German), or Rabaul Creol German, is a German-based creole language spoken primarily in Papua New Guinea and the northeast of Australia. ... Bislama is a Melanesian creole language, one of the official languages of Vanuatu. ... Pijin is a language spoken in the Solomon Islands. ... Hiri Motu is an official language of Papua New Guinea. ... Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) is a music-related computer software and hardware supplier. ...


Official status

Tok Pisin is used to some extent in the media and for government issues, though English is still preferred in these contexts. In some schools Tok Pisin is the language of instruction in the first three years of elementary education.


Regional variations

There are considerable variations in vocabulary and grammar in various parts of Papua New Guinea, with distinct dialects in the New Guinea Highlands, the north coast of Papua New Guinea (Pidgin speakers from Finschafen speak rather quickly and often have difficulty making themselves understood elsewhere) and the New Guinea Islands. The variant spoken on Bougainville and Buka is moderately distinct from that of New Ireland and East New Britain but is much closer to that than it is to the Pijin spoken in rest of the Solomon Islands. Pijin is a language spoken in the Solomon Islands. ...


Sounds

Tok Pisin, like many pidgins and creoles, has a far simpler phonology than the superstrate language. It has 16 consonants and 5 vowels. However, this varies with the local substrate languages and the level of education of the speaker. The following is the "core" phonemic inventory, common to virtually all varieties of Tok Pisin. More educated speakers, and/or those where the substrate language(s) have larger phoneme inventories, may have as many as 10 distinct vowels.
Nasal plus plosive offsets lose the plosive element in Tok Pisin e.g. English hand becomes Tok Pisin han. Furthermore, voiced plosives become voiceless at the ends of words, so that English pig is rendered as pik in Tok Pisin. A superstratum or superstrate is the counterpart to a substratum. ... In linguistics, a substratum (lat. ...


Consonants

Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b t d k g
Fricative v s h
Nasal m n ŋ
Lateral l
Approximant w j
Rhotic consonant r
  • Where symbols appear in pairs the one to the left represents a voiceless consonant.
  • /t/, /d/, and /l/ can be either dental or alveolar consonants, while /n/ is only alveolar.
  • In most Tok Pisin dialects, /r/ is a tap or flap.

Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). ... Coronal consonants are articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue. ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Glottal consonants are consonants articulated with the glottis. ... A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Rhotic consonants, or R-like sounds, are non-lateral liquid consonants. ...

Vowels

Tok Pisin has five vowels, similar to the vowels of Spanish, Japanese, and many other five-vowel languages:

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... A central vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. ... A mid vowel is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... An open vowel is a vowel sound of a type used in most spoken languages. ...

Grammar

The verb has one suffix, -im (from "him") to indicate transitivity (luk, look; lukim, see). But some verbs, such as kaikai "eat", can be transitive without it. Tense is indicated by the separate words bai (future) and bin (past) (from "been"). The present progressive tense is indicated by the word stap - e.g. "eating" is kaikai stap (or this can be seen as having a "food stop"). It has been suggested that Verbal agreement be merged into this article or section. ...


The noun does not indicate number, though pronouns do. Noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ...


Adjectives usually take the suffix -pela (from "fellow") when modifying nouns; an exception is liklik "little". Liklik can also be used as an adverb meaning "slightly", as in dispela bikpela liklik ston, "this slightly big stone". In grammar, an adjective is a part of speech that modifies a noun or a pronoun, usually by describing it or making its meaning more specific. ... An adverb is a part of speech. ...


Pronouns show person, number, and inclusiveness. The paradigm varies depending on the local languages; dual number is common, while the trial is less so. The largest Tok Pisin pronoun inventory is, In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun phrase. ... Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to the participant role of a referent, such as the speaker, the addressee, and others. ... In linguistics, grammatical number is a morphological category characterized by the expression of quantity through inflection or agreement. ... Inclusive we is a pronoun that indicates the speaker, the addressee, and perhaps other people, as opposed to the exclusive we that excludes the addressee. ... Dual is the grammatical number used for two referents. ... In linguistics, the trial grammatical number is a grammatical number referring to three things, as opposed to singular and plural. Trial linguistic structures do not exist in English, nor do dual numbers. ...

Singular Dual Trial Plural
1st exclusive mi
(I)
mitupela
(he/she and I)
mitripela
(both of them, and I)
mipela
(all of them, and I)
1st inclusive - yumitupela
(thou and I)
yumitripela
(both of you, and I)
yumipela or yumi
(all of you, and I)
2nd yu
(thou)
yutupela
(you two)
yutripela
(you three)
yupela
(you four or more)
3rd em
(he/she)
tupela
(they two)
tripela
(they three)
ol
(they four or more)

Reduplication is very common in Tok Pisin. Sometimes it is used as a method of derivation; sometimes words just have it. Some words are distinguished only by reduplication: sip "ship", sipsip "sheep". Reduplication, in linguistics, is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word, or only part of it, is repeated. ...


There are only two proper prepositions: bilong (from "belong"), which means "of" or "for", and long, which means everything else. Some phrases are used as prepositions, such as long namel (bilong), "in the middle of". It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with adposition. ... Look up phrase in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Development of Tok Pisin

Tok Pisin is a language that developed out of regional dialects of the languages of the local inhabitants and English, brought into the country when English speakers arrived. There were four phases in the development of Tok Pisin that were laid out by Loreto Todd.

  1. Casual contact between English speakers and local people developed a marginal pisin
  2. Pisin English was used between the local people. The language expanded from the users' mother tongue
  3. As the interracial contact increased the vocabulary expanded according to the dominant language.
  4. In areas where English was official language a depidginization occurred (Todd, 1990)

Tok Pisin is also known as a "mixed" language. This means that it consists of characteristics of different languages. Tok Pisin obtained most of its vocabulary from the English language: i.e. English is its lexifier. The origin of the syntax is a matter of debate. Hymes (Hymes 1971b: 5)claims that the syntax is from the substratum languages: i.e. the languages of the local peoples. (Hymes 1971b: 5). Derek Bickerton's analysis of creoles, on the other hand, claims that the syntax of creoles is imposed on the grammarless pidgin by the its first native speakers: the children who grow up exposed to only a pidgin rather than a more developed language such as one of the local languages or English. In this analysis, the original syntax of creoles is in some sense the default grammar humans are born with. Derek Bickerton (born March 25, 1926) is a linguist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. ...


Pidgins are less elaborated than non-Pidgin languages. Their typical characteristics are:

  1. A smaller vocabulary which leads to metaphores to supply lexical units:
  • Smaller vocabulary:

Tok Pisin: "vot" English: "election" (n) and "vote" (v)


Tok Pisin: "hevi" English: "heavy" (adj) and "weight" (n)

Tok Pisin: "screw of the arm" English: "elbow" In language, a metaphor is a rhetorical trope where a comparison is made between two seemingly unrelated subjects. ... Elbow redirects here. ...


Tok Pisin: "grass of the head" English: "hair" (Hall, 1966: 90f)

  1. A reduced grammar: lack of copula, prepositions, determiners and conjunctions
  1. Less differentiated Phonology:

[p] and [f] are not distinguished in Tok Pisin (they are in free variation). There is also no phonological difference of sibilants in Tok Pisin, whereas in English there are: /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /tʃ/, and /dʒ/.


For Example:


"pis" in Tok Pisin could mean in English: "beads", "beach", "fish", "peach", "piss", "feast" or "peace".


"sip" in Tok Pisin could mean in English: "ship", "jib", "jeep", "sieve" or "chief"


Tenses of Tok Pisin

Past Tense: Marked by "bin": Tok Pisin: "Na praim minista i bin tok olsem". English: "And the prime minister spoke thus". (Romaine 1991: 629)


Continuative Same Tense is expressed through: Verb + i. Tok Pisin: "Em i slip i stap". English: "He/ She is sleeping". (ibid.: 631)


Completive or perfective aspect expressed through the word "pinis" (from English: finish): Tok Pisin: "Em i lusim bot pinis". English: "He had got out of the boat". (Mühlhäusler 1984: 462).


Transitive words are expressed through "-im" (from English: him): Tok Pisin: "Yu pinisim stori nau." English: "Finish your story now!". (ibid.: 640).


Future is expressed through the word "bai" (from English by): Tok Pisin: "Em bai ol i go long rum" English: "They will go to their rooms now. (Mühlhäusler 1991: 642).


The ending -pela is used as a plural marker and for adjectives and determiners. Tok Pisin: "Dispela boi" --> English: "This bloke". Tok Pisin: "Mipela" --> English: "We". Tok Pisin: "Yupela" --> English: "You all". (ibid. 640f).


The Preposition "long" in Tok Pisin stands for "at, in, on, to, with, until" in English and "bilong" in Tok Pisin stands for "of, from, for" in English: Tok Pisin: "Mipela i go long blekmaket". --> English: "We went to the black market". Tok Pisin: "Ki bilong yu 'your key' or "Ol bilong Godons". --> English: They are from Gordon's. (ibid. 640f).


Vocabulary

Tok Pisin can sound very colourful in its use of words, which are derived from English (with Australian influences), indigenous Melanesian languages and German (part of the country was under German rule until 1914). The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Map showing Melanesia. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...

  • bagarap(im) - broken, to break down (from "bugger up") - very widely used in Papua New Guinea
  • bagarap olgeta - completely broken
  • balus - airplane (from Melanesian word for "bird")
  • bikpela - big
  • haus - house
    • haus meri - female domestic servant
    • haus moni - bank
    • haus sik - hospital
    • sit haus - toilet, also:
    • liklik haus - toilet
    • haus tambaran - traditional Sepik-region house with artifacts of ancestors or for honoring ancestors; tambaran means "ancestor spirit" or "ghost"
  • hukim pis - to catch fish (from "hook")
  • kaikai - food, eat
  • kamap - arrive, become (from "come up")
  • kisim - get
  • mangi - young man, formerly child (from German "männchen" = "small man" in colonial era - not, as commonly believed, from "monkey")
  • maski - it doesn't matter, don't worry about it
  • manmeri - people
  • meri - woman (from the English name "Mary")
  • olgeta - all (from "all together")
  • pikinini - child (from Pacific Pidgin English, but ultimately from Portuguese influenced Lingua franca, cf, pickaninny)
  • Papa Got - God
  • raus(im) - get out (from German "raus")
  • sapos - if (from "suppose")
  • save - know, to do habitually (from Pacific Pidgin English, but ultimately from Portuguese influenced Lingua franca, cf. "savvy")
  • solwara - ocean (from "salt water")
  • stap - be, stay (from "stop")
  • slip - sleep, live
  • tasol - only (from "that's all")
  • lotu - church
  • belo - lunch
  • gat bel - pregnant
  • hamamas - happy
  • hatim bel - angry

PNG 50 Kina note showing the haus tambaran inspired entrance of Parliament House. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... Pickaninny (also pickaninnie) is a pidgin word form which may be derived from the Portuguese pequenino (little) via Lingua franca. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ...

The Lord's Prayer in Tok Pisin

Papa bilong mipela
Yu stap long heven.
Nem bilong yu i mas i stap holi.
Kingdom bilong yu i mas i kam.
Strongim mipela long bihainim laik bilong yu long graun,
olsem ol i bihainim long heven.
Givim mipela kaikai inap long tude.
Pogivim rong bilong mipela,
olsem mipela i pogivim ol arapela i mekim rong long mipela.
Sambai long mipela long taim bilong traim.
Na rausim olgeta samting nogut long mipela.
Kingdom na strong na glori, em i bilong yu tasol oltaim oltaim.
Tru.

Representation of the Sermon on the Mount The Lords Prayer in Swahili. ...

References

  • Mihalic, Francis (1971). The Jacaranda Dictionary and Grammar of Melanesian Pidgin. Milton, Queensland: The Jacaranda Press.
  • Murphy, John J. (1985). The Book of Pidgin English. Bathurst, New South Wales: Robert Brown, 6th edition.
  • Smith, Geoff P. (2002). Growing Up With Tok Pisin: Contact, Creolization, and Change in Papua New Guinea's National Language. London: Battlebridge Publications. ISBN 1-903292-06-9.
  • Dutton, Tom and Thomas, Dicks (1985). A New Course in Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin). Canberra: Australian National University. ISBN 0-85883-341-7.
  • S. A. Wurm and P. Mühlhäusler 1985. Handbook of Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin). Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 0-85883-321-2
  • Nupela Testamen bilong Bikpela Jisas Kraist, The Bible Society in Papua New Guinea.

1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... Suncorp Stadium Milton is an inner suburb of Brisbane, in Queensland, Australia, located approximately 2 kilometres west of Brisbanes central business district. ... Capital Brisbane Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Quentin Bryce Premier Peter Beattie (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 28  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $158,506 (3rd)  - Product per capita  $40,170/person (6th) Population (End of September 2006)  - Population  4,070,400 (3rd)  - Density  2. ... John Murphy in his Morris Township Firehouse John J. Murphy (born 1959) is a politician from New Jersey. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bathurst is a regional centre in the state of New South Wales, Australia approximately 200km west of Sydney and is the seat of the Bathurst Regional Council Local Government Area. ... Capital Sydney Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Professor Marie Bashir Premier Morris Iemma (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 50  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $305,437 (1st)  - Product per capita  $45,153/person (4th) Population (End of March 2006)  - Population  6,817,100 (1st)  - Density  8. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ... The Australian National University, or ANU, is a public university located in Canberra, the national capital of Australia. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pacific Linguistics is a non-profit publisher located at the Australian National University, Canberra, printing linguistic materials (such as grammars and dictionaries) on the languages of Oceania and Southeast Asia. ...

External links

Wikipedia
Tok Pisin edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikibooks
Wikibooks has more on the topic of

  Results from FactBites:
 
NodeWorks - Encyclopedia: Tok Pisin (499 words)
Tok Pisin (tok means "word" or "speech", pisin means "business") is the creole spoken in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Tok Pisin is used to some extent in the media and for government issues, though English is still preferred in these contexts.
Tok Pisin can sound very colourful in its use of words, which are derived from English (with Australian influences), indigenous Melanesian languages and German (part of the country was under German rule until 1919).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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