Kent Sakoda & Jeff Siegel of the University of Hawaii – authors of Pidgin Grammar

Pidgin Grammar Interview w/ Kent Sakoda & Jeff Siegel of the U of Hawaii
Interview by Dmae Roberts, Recorded by Jennifer Dunn
Date: 10/12/04
1 Disc,

JEFF: yeah. This isn’t a grammar in the traditional sense of telling you how to speak the language, what’s right and what’s wrong. This is a grammar in the sense that linguists use the word now, which is really a description of the way people use the language, and I think that’s what convinced Kent that it would be all right. So we don’t say there’s a right way or a wrong way, we just describe how people use the language. And even though a lot of people think it’s just broken English, it does have a lot of its own rules that speakers have subconsciously and that what’s we’re really describing – how people speak the language. And there’s ways that people sound just normal when you’re speaking the language and if someone tried to speak the language who didn’t know it they would sound a bit funny.

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