Unserdeutsch

Unserdeutsch
Native to Papua New Guinea, Australia
Native speakers unknown (100 cited 1981)Template:Infobox language/ref
Language family
German-based creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3 uln
Linguist List Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
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Unserdeutsch ("Ourgerman"), or Rabaul Creole German, is a German-based creole language spoken primarily in Papua New Guinea. It was formed among the New Guinean children residing in a German-run orphanage in what was then German New Guinea. Fewer than 100 native speakers survive today, 15 of whom live in New Britain.

Most speakers of Unserdeutsch are bilingual; speaking either Standard German, English, Tok Pisin or Kuanua. Most speakers are middle-aged or older, although younger members of the community may comprehend the language. The descendant of a pidginised form of Standard German which originated in the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain during German colonial times among the Catholic mixed-race (Vunapope) community. With increased mobility and intermarriage, it has been disappearing in the last few decades.

Unserdeutsch presumably influenced the development of its neighbour, Tok Pisin. Unlike Namibian Black German in Namibia, it is a creole; indeed, it is the only creole that developed from colonial German.[1]

References

Further reading

  • Peter Mühlhäusler: Tracing the roots of pidgin German. In: Language and Communication, 4/(1)/1984, S. 27–57. ISSN 0271-5309
  • Craig A. Volker: Rabaul Creole German Syntax. In: Working Papers in Linguistics, University of Hawaii 21/1989, S.153-189 (online)
  • Craig A. Volker: The rise and decline of Rabaul Creole German, Language and Linguistics in Melanesia. In: John Lynch (ed.): Oceanic studies : proceedings of the first international conference on oceanic linguistics Australian Nat. Univ., Canberra 1996, here)

External links

  • Volker, The birth and decline of Rabaul Creole German
  • Unserdeutsch homepage of the German Society for Endangered Languages
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