On the origins of Pitcairn-Norfolk

  • Peter Mühlhäusler University of Adelaide


The attraction of looking at Pidgin and Creole languages to gain understanding about the origin of human language and weighty matters such as the nature - nurture debate is derived from the view that many Creolists subscribe to: That ontogenesis recapitulates phylogenesis. This view combined with the Cartesian view that there must be a general or universal grammar underlying the grammatical features of all languages is articulated, for instance, in Bickerton's Roots of Language (1981) where it is suggested that the examination of the grammar developed among fust generation Creole speakers with no exposure to a coherent model leads to the discovery of a set of so-called bio-program features of human language.