Evidence of an English Contact Language in the 19th Century Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands
This paper contends that an English-based contact language developed on the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands in the 19th century and was used as the language of communication among the settlers there. The factors discussed in support of this contention are: (1) the diversity in the languages of the first-generation settlers, (2) the abundance of mixed-language households, (3) the absence of formal education or literacy, (4) the nature of words reported by Japanese seamen shipwrecked on the island, (5) reports of communication in English between islanders and visitors, (6) the off-island experiences of islanders, (7) written references to a contact language, (8) the continued usage of non-English words, and (9) the linguistic outcomes of similar island communities.
Published online: 13 March 2000
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