Eskimo Pidgin

Eskimo Pidgin refers to a range of pidgins based on Eskimo languages all over the east Siberian and north American Arctic. These pidgin languages emerged from contacts between the Inuit and Western sailors that visited the Arctic during the whaling era from the early 17th century in the northern Atlantic to the 20th century in the northern Pacific and Arctic Oceans. In principle, the different Eskimo Pidgins emerged independently from one another in different places, but there are many structural and lexical correspondences between them due to similar circumstances of emergence and use. Most Eskimo Pidgins were documented very fragmentarily by interested laymen and occasional travellers and apparently none of them are spoken today. The lect chosen for the APiCS (default lect) is the Herschel Island Trade Jargon. With Stefánsson´s contemporary (1909) description, it is the best documented Eskimo Pidgin known so far. The characteristic features of the Herschel Island Trade Jargon can also be observed in scraps of documentation of Eskimo Pidgins from different times and regions.

No. Feature Value % Details Source
No. Feature Value % Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % Details Source