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SOLOMON ISLANDS PIDGIN ENGLISH

SOLOMON ISLANDS PIDGIN ENGLISH, also commonly Pijin and technically Neo-Solomonic. A variety of MELANESIAN PIDGIN ENGLISH spoken in the Solomon Islands, a country in the south-western Pacific Ocean and member of the Commonwealth. It is closely related to Bislama in Vanuatu and TOK PISIN in Papua New Guinea. English is the official language of the Solomons, but Pijin is spoken by about half the population. In the early 1900s, copra plantations were established. The labourers employed there had also worked in Queensland and FIJI, where they had used pidgin English. The local variety stabilized early and several religious missions adopted it for use, though it never gained the status of Tok Pisin or BISLAMA. Throughout their post-colonial history, Solomon Islanders, unlike Papua New Guineans and Ni-Vanuatu, have never been in contact with any other European language but English. For this reason Pijin is closer than Tok Pisin to English and has less non-English vocabulary.

It is syntactically more elaborate than Tok Pisin, for example in having many more prepositions and a greater range of connectives, such as so, bat, bikos (so, but, because), as in: ‘Mitufala jes marit nomoa ia so mitufala no garem eni pikinini iet. Mi traehad fo fosim haosben blong mi fo mitufala go long sip bat taem ia hemi had tumas fo faendem rum long sip bikos plande pipol wandem go-go hom fo Krismas tu’ (from J. Holm, Pidgin and Creole Languages, volume 2, 1988, p. 536) [Translation: We've just got married only we haven't got any children yet. I tried hard to force my husband to go on the ship, but times were hard and we couldn't find room on board because plenty of people wanted to go home for Christmas too]. See AUSTRALIAN PIDGIN.

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