Vol. 4:2 (2020) ► pp.202–234
Lexical diversity and the issue of the basilect/acrolect distinction in Lingua Franca
In their typological survey of pidgins, Parkvall and Bakker (2013) observe that pidgin discourse is characterized by an exceptionally low type-token ratio. Taking this observation as its starting point, the present paper examines the type-token ratio in Lingua Franca, a contact language traditionally classified as a pidgin. The study is based on a unique mini-corpus consisting of parallel translations in Lingua Franca and four comparator languages: Italian, Spanish, French and English. The paper shows that the type-token ratio of the Lingua Franca variety reflected in the mini-corpus matches, and in parts surpasses, those of its Romance lexifiers and English. The study expands our knowledge of the basilect/acrolect distinction in Lingua Franca and contributes to the discussion about the role of lexical diversity in the typological categorization of contact languages.
- 1.Type-token ratio in pidgins
- 2.Lingua Franca
- 3.Lexical richness in Lingua Franca