Globalization and the future of Creole languages
The plantation system that gave rise to many existing creoles can be said to be the prototype upon which the current wave of corporate globalization has been modeled (Linebaugh 1992). The daily wages received by the majority of workers worldwide at the beginning of the 21st century are not even equal to half the value of the daily food rations received by plantation slaves at the beginning of the 19th in the Greater Caribbean or at the beginning of the 20th in the South Pacific (World Bank 2000; Farnsworth 1999 and Queensland 1892). Structural adjustment policies are restricting the spread of English to the few who reap some reward from corporate globalization. In contrast, the overwhelming majority are by necessity learning and reshaping existing regional koines, pidgins, and creoles, through processes of adaptation, creativity and resistance (Rickford 1983). Far from being a threat to creoles, corporate globalization is bringing about an increase in the number of speakers of these languages, which dwarfs the much proclaimed growth of English worldwide.
Keywords: Commons, creole languages, enclosures, globalization, koine languages, Melanesia, pidgin languages, plantations, resistance, slavery, subsistence, women
Published online: 05 October 2005
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