On Fri, 23 Jul 1999, andrew wrote:

> On Fri, 23 Jul 1999, R. Nierse wrote:
> > > Where is Bislama spoken? Because Broken (Torres Strait Creole)
> > > has the almost exact same pronoun system. (If you remove the
> > > trial and the 'e' in the plural suffix 'pela'.)
> >
> > Bislama is spoken in Beach la Mar
> >
> Unless I'm wrong a beach-la-mar is a form of jellyfish.  And if I remembe=
> correctly Bislama is spoken in Vanuatu, formerly known as the New
> Hebrides.  Torres Straith Creole obviously belongs to the same continuum
> of creole which also includes Solomon Island pijin and and Papua New
> Guinean Tok Pisin.

The English-based pidgin Beach la Mar is actually already mentioned
by Jespersen (1922: 216-225):

  (note 1) The etymology of this name is rather curious: Portuguese _bicho
  de mar_, from _bicho_ 'worm,' the name of the sea slug or trepang,
  which is eaten as a luxury by the Chinese, was in French modified to
  _b=EAche de mer_, 'sea-spade'; this by a second popular etymology was
  made into English _beach-la-mar_ as if a compound of _beach_.

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.


Holm, John. 1988. _Pidgins and Creoles_, Volume I: Theory and Structure.
Cambridge: Cambridge Universty Press.

Jespersen, Otto. 1922. _Language: its Nature, Development and Origin_,
London: George Allen & Unwin ltd.

Boudewijn Rempt  |