Mobilian jargon: linguistic and sociohistorical aspects of a Native American pidgin
The study of Native American languages has traditionally paid little attention to linguistic convergence, just as linguists focusing on language contact have often neglected Native American cases. Drawing both on fieldwork and on archival research Emanuel Drechsel presents a grammatical,sociolinguistic, and ethnohistorical study of Mobilian Jargon, a Muskogean-based American Indian pidgin of the Mississippi valley.Mobilian Jargon functioned as an interlingual medium of communication among linguistically diverse southeastern Native American groups, and in contact between these groups and non-Indians, from at least 1700 until the mid-twentieth century. It also served as a a sociolinguistic buffer, providingnative peoples with some protection against outside intrusions. The linguistic and extralinguistic evidence points to a pre-Columbian origin, and a role as a lingua franca among mound-building paramount chiefdoms of the lower Mississippi valley.Because of its focus on a non-European based case, Drechsel's study questions the universality of some concepts developed in pidgin and creole linguistics. It also carries significant implications for the ethnology of Native American peoples, and for the history of North America, suggesting thatNative American peoples have had a greater historical role than has been acknowledged hitherto.
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Language Contact and Contact Languages
Perspective and Research Methods in Studying Mobilian Jargon
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Alabama American Indian Americanist linguists Anonymous 1862 anonymous author Apalachee apparently areal Atakapa Bayogoula Biloxi century Cherokee Chickasaw Chinook Jargon Chitimacha Choctaw colonial complex compounds contact languages contact media Coushatta Crawford creoles creolization Delaware Jargon dialect documentation Drechsel e)kso eastern English European evidence functions Gatschet grammar guages Haas Hitchiti ian Jargon indigenous interlingual interpretation intertribal Koasati language contact langue lexical lexicon lingua franca Creek linguistic linguistic diversity loan-words Louisiana Louisiana French Louisiana Indians medium Mikasuki Mississippi Mobilian Jargon modern multilingual Munro Musko Muskogean languages Muskogee Natchez Native American languages native languages neighbors non-Indians noun observations Ojibwa origin pattern phonological phrases pidgin Pratz pre-Columbian pre-European pronoun reconstituted recorded Sect Seminole sentences Siouan sociocultural sociohistorical sociolinguistic Southeastern Indian languages southeastern North America Spanish speak speakers of Mobilian spoke suggest Swanton Timucua trade Tunica Tunica-Biloxi variation variety verb vocabulary vowel Western Muskogean word order Yuchi