Torres Strait Creole


Torres Strait Creole

language
name=Torres Strait Creole
region=Australia
speakers=
familycolor=Creole
fam1=Creole language
fam2=English Creole
fam3=Pacific
iso1=
iso2=cpe(?)
iso3=tcs

Torres Strait Creole (also "Torres Strait Pidgin, Torres Strait Brokan/Broken, Cape York Creole, Lockhart Creole, Papuan Pidgin English") is an oral, creole language spoken on several Torres Strait Islands (Queensland, Australia), Northern Cape York and South-Western Coastal Papua. It has approximately 25 000 mother-tongue and bi/tri-lingual speakers and several second-language speakers. It is widely used as a language of trade and commerce. It has five main dialects: Papuan, Western-Central, TI, Eastern, and Cape York. Its main characteristics show that it is a Pacific Pidgin, however the future in X [i] go VERB aligns it with Atlantic Creoles. Related languages are Pijin of the Solomon Islands, Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea, and Bislama of Vanuatu. The other Creoles of Australia (Roper River Kriol etc.) are more distantly related, being descendants of the Pidgin English that developed in and around Sydney after the colonisation of Australia.

Records of a pidgin English being used in Torres Strait exist at least from the 1840s, and therefore Torres Strait Creole may very well be older than its sister languages, and not a descendant of any of these. The main importers of the pidgin were British and other sailors (some of whom were South Sea Islanders), and therefore Brokan has various characteristics of this strong British Sailor's Pidgin English influence. The main influences were Singapore Pidgin, Pacific Pidgin and Jamaican Creole.

Example text

Brokan i kriol langgus we i spikem lo dhem ailan blo Thoris Stret, lo nòth-said blo Kep Yòk, lo Sauth-Wes-said blo Papua. I gad samwe waze 25,000 pipol i sabe tokem waze namba-wan langgus, namba-tu langgus 'ne namba-thri langgus blo dhempla. Ol i yuzem lo plande ples waze langgus blo treiding an bai òl samthing. I gad paib kain Brokan: blo Papua, blo Westen-Sentrel, blo Tiai, blo Esten, blo Kep Yok. Ol dhem wòd blo em soem dhiskain pò yumpla, waze em i pizin blo Pasipik, dhasòl i gad wanwan thing, òlsem we yumpla spik pò taim we i go kam, yumpla yuzi X [i] go meke samthing, dhisan i gad rilesen lo Kriol blo Atlantic, blo Zameka.

Thri langgus we i òlsem Brokan i Pijin blo Solomon Ailan, Tok Pisin blo Niu Gini, ane Bislama blo Banuatu.

Grammar

Personal Pronouns

Singular: 1st sub. ai, non-sub. mi; 2nd sub. yu, non-sub. yu; 3rd defining sub. em, non-sub. em; 3rd non-defining sub. i, non-sub. em

Dual: 1st mitu; 1-2 yumi; 2nd yutu; 3rd dhemtu (variant non-sub. -emtu)

Plural: 1st mipla (dialect variant wi); 1-2 yumpla (rhetorical variant yumi); 2nd yupla; 3rd defining dhempla (variant non-sub. -empla); 3rd non-dedfining sub. ol, non-sub. dhempla/-empla

Verb tense/aspect/mood

lugaut 'take care, beware' (der. from 'look out')

remote future bambai X (i) go lugaut

near future X (i) go lugaut

present X (i) lugaut

recent past X (i) zasnau (bin) lugaut

past X (i) bin lugaut

completive past X (i) pinis/oredi lugaut

habitual past X (i) yustu bin lugaut

advice X (i) sud lugaut

obligation X (i) mas/aptu lugaut

dependent obligation X (i) blo/spostu lugaut

continuative X (i) matha go

multiplicative X (i) go-go

lengthening X (i) go go go goooo

simplicative X (i) dhasol go, X (i) matha dhasol go

ordinaritive X (i) dhasol go, X (i) kasa (dhasol) go

Vocabulary

The language has vocabulary from various sources, though the dominant source language is English.

Non-English words:

Kalaw Kawaw Ya: "yawo" "goodbye", "matha" "only/very", "mina" "really/truly", "babuk" "crosslegged"

Austronesian: "thalinga" "ear", "bala" "brother, male friend", "thabu" "coconut toddy", "makan" "eat", "dudu" "sit", "kaikai" "eat"

Portuguese: "pikinini" "child"

Though a claim could be made that the word "puripuri" "magic" could be from [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=swp Suau] , it is more likely to be a retention of the early Torres Strait pidgin form of Kauraraigau Ya (Kowrareg), the Southern dialect of Kala Lagaw Ya, in which the word was puri (in the modern dialects puyi), pidgin form "puripuri".


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  • Torres Strait Creole — noun the creole spoken by Torres Strait Islanders. Also, Torres Strait Broken …   Australian English dictionary

  • Torres Strait Creole — ISO 639 3 Code : tcs ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Living …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

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