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MELANESIAN PIDGIN ENGLISH, also Melanesian Pidgin. The name commonly given to three varieties of PIDGIN spoken in the Melanesian states of Papua New Guinea (TOK PISIN), Solomon Islands (Pijin), and Vanuatu (BISLAMA). Although there is a degree of mutual intelligibility among them, the term is used by linguists to recognize a common historical development and is not recognized by speakers of these languages. The development of Melanesian Pidgin English has been significantly different in the three countries. This is due to differences in the SUBSTRATE languages, the presence of European languages other than English, and differences in colonial policy. In Papua New Guinea, there was a period of German administration (1884–1914) before the British and Australians took over. The people of Vanuatu were in constant contact with the French government and planters during a century of colonial rule (1880–1980) and for a time there was a condominium rule by the British and French; contact with French has continued after independence in 1980. However, Solomon Islanders have not been in contact with any European language other than English.

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