West Greenlandic Pidgin

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West Greenlandic Pidgin
Native to Greenland
Era 17th–19th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)

West Greenlandic Pidgin is an extinct Greenlandic-based contact language once used between the Inuit of Greenland and European traders. The vocabulary is mostly Greenlandic. Although words from Germanic languages were incorporated over the course of contact with Europeans, most of the words which are not Inuit come from other local trade languages. The pidgin has a vastly simplified grammar, and sounds such as r and q that were unfamiliar to Europeans were lost. For example, orsoq 'blubber' became oksok 'bacon'. However, other sounds have since been lost from Greenlandic, such as sh (collapsed into s in modern Greenlandic) and consonant clusters: nigsik has become nieksik 'hook', but in modern Greenlandic is nissik.

References[edit]

  • Marianne Mithun (2001) The Languages of Native North America, p 593ff
  • Hein van der Voort, "Eskimo pidgin", in Arends, Muysken, & Smith (eds), 1995, Pidgins and Creoles: an introduction