views updated May 29 2018

SABIR [From Portuguese sabir to know]. A name for the original LINGUA FRANCA, the earliest known PIDGIN based on a European language. Its vocabulary is drawn mainly from the southern ROMANCE LANGUAGES, and it was used from the time of the Crusades (11–13c) until the beginning of the 20c for communication among Europeans, Turks, Arabs, and others in the Levant, and is believed by some scholars to have served as a base for the development of Atlantic and other pidgin languages first used by Portuguese sailors and traders and later by the British, Dutch, French, and Spanish.