On Fri, 23 Jul 1999, Boudewijn Rempt wrote:
> According to Holm's Pidgins and Creoles, Bislama is indeed spoken in
> Vanuatu, and is of course exactly the same thing as Beach-la-mar. Holm
> has some information about Bislama in in his book, but unfortunately
> in Volume II, where I only possess Volume I. The second volume gives
> actual descriptions.
Fortunately my local universary library has both volumes. I have a high
regard for them, almost holy writ.
Bislama is part of the Melanesian Pidgin English Family which includes Tok
Pisin, Solomon Islands Pidgin and Bislama. Bislama is named for the
beach-la-mar, an edible sea slug. The name is derived from Portuguese
_bicho do mar_ 'creature of the sea' and has entered English via French.
The name has been transferred to the trade language between the Europeans
and the islanders who caught and prepared the sea slugs. It was also
known as Sandalwood English, another product of the region.
Vanuatu was an Anglo-French condominium until 1980. Bislama was the
language of the Independance movement prior to this period and after
independance the English educated ni-Vanuatu predominated in the public
arena over the French educated, allowing a greater English influence over
the language. Solomon Islanders and ni-Vanuatu can understand each other,
but people from Papua New Guinea find it difficult because their pidgins
are different when it comes to lexicon and syntax.
Linguists disagree whether Bislama is more like original Beach-la-mar.
Taru i go wokbaot long Santo Taon. I wokbaot go go, i go insaed long
Taru PM go walking in Santo town PM walk go go PM go inside of
stoa blong wan Jaenis long saed long Vanuatu Moto. Hem i stap lukluk
store of a Chinese alongside of Vanuatu Motors He PM DUR look
ol ting insaed go go i wandem kakae wan apol, be sore tumas vatu
PLUR thing inside go go PM want eat an apple but sorry very money
i nogat. Hem i giaman raonraon long stoa...
PM none he PM pretend walk around in store
Torres Strait English is described as a direct descendant of Beach-la-mar.
Less closely related to Australian Aboriginal Kriol.
Andrew Smith, Intheologus [log in to unmask]
Lo! thy dread empire, Chaos! is restored;
Light dies before thy uncreating word:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
And Universal Darkness buries All.
- Alexander Pope, The Dunciad, Book IV.