Article published in:Pidgins and Creoles beyond Africa-Europe Encounters
Edited by Isabelle Buchstaller, Anders Holmberg and Mohammad Almoaily
[Creole Language Library 47] 2014
► pp. 41–56
The ‘language of Tobi’ as presented in Horace Holden’s Narrative
Evidence for restructuring and lexical mixture in a Nuclear Micronesian-based pidgin
In 1836 the American sailor and trader Horace Holden published an account of two years’ captivity on the island of Tobi, western Carolines, to which he appended a short vocabulary and numerous sentences in ‘the language of Tobi’. Examination of this material shows that most of the identifiable items in the vocabulary can be traced to Tobian, a Western Chuukic language, which is part of the Nuclear Micronesian subgroup within Austronesian, and for which we have a reasonable amount of modern data. However, the structural and especially syntactic features of the sentences appended in the five ‘dialogues’ consistently show few if any of the morphological features of modern Tobian. This chapter discusses the status of Holden’s material as a probable pidgin with a lexicon showing some admixture from Malay, Palauan and maybe Spanish.
Published online: 29 January 2014
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Cited by 1 other publications
BUCHSTALLER, ISABELLE & NIKOLAS DANE WILLSON
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