Tok Pisin

Print

A language of Papua New Guinea

Alternate Names
Melanesian English, Neomelanesian, New Guinea Pidgin English, Pidgin, Pisin
Population

122,000 (2004 SIL). 50,000 monolinguals.

Location

Mainly north half of country, well established in Port Moresby, into other regions.

Language Status

1 (National). De facto national language.

Dialects

Dialect differences between lowlands, highlands, and islands. Highlands lexicon has more English [eng] influence (Holm, 1989).

Language Use

L1 of some people in mixed urban areas. Used between speakers of different languages. Most frequently used language in Parliament and commerce. Some L2 users speak a broken Pidgin. Where it is L1, it is passed on to children by parents. 4,000,000 L2 speakers. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 40%–45%. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1989.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.