Oxford Studies in Language Contact Series editors: Professor Suzanne Romaine, Merton College, Oxford and Dr Peter Mülhäusler, Linacre College, Oxford This series aims to make available a collection of research monographs which present case studies of language contact around the world. The series will consider factors which give rise to language contact and the consequences of such contact in a broad inter-disciplinary context. Given the prevalence of language contact in communities throughout the world, there are as yet insufficient studies to permit typological generalization about the subject: this series aims to fill that gap. Bislama is the variety of Melanesian Pidgin spoken in Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides). In this book Terry Crowley describes its history and development from the 1940s to the present. In the first chapters the labour history of Vanuatu is reviewed in detail in order to establish what were the contacts between speakers of various languages with one another over the period. The written record is thoroughly examined for evidence about how people communicated in the early contact period, and how the contact language developed over the time. In the later chapters the author gives a detailed treatment of selected grammatical constructions and their evolution, including syntactic developments that are currently in progress. In this discussion he addresses the controversial issue of the source of grammatical constructions in Bislama, considering in particular the possible role of substratum patterns. He concludes that while there is good evidence for substratum influence in the grammer of Bislama, the mere existence of stuctural parallels between Bislama and the substrate is not itself sufficient evidence. There are a range of other explanations that may also be drawn upon to account for these similarities.
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