The story of Pichi: Isolation, koineization, hybridization

Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) Due to its unique sociohistory, Pichi, spoken on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea, has emerged as a highly distinct variety within the African branch of the family of Afro-Caribbean English-lexicon Creoles.

Today, Pichi differs in various ways from its immediate ancestor Krio of Sierra Leone, and has remained distinct from the other English-lexicon creoles and pidgins spoken in its vicinity, e.g. Nigerian and Cameroonian Pidgin. I investigate the socio-historical and linguistic mechanisms by which Pichi has crystallized as a separate variety that differs markedly from its West African sister languages. Four overlapping processes are relevant in this context: isolation from its lexifier language English and its forebear Krio, koineization involving other African Creole and Pidgin English varieties, hybridization with Spanish, and language shift from the Bantu language Bube to Pichi. These processes are addressed in detail in a series of studies.


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