Emanuel J. Drechsel of interdisciplinary studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa published a new book on pidgin entitled Language Contact in the Early Colonial Pacific: Maritime Polynesian Pidgin before Pidgin English. The book is part of the Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact, a series of publications that approaches language contact from a range of disciplines.

Drechsel’s book is a philological and ethnohistorical study of how Europeans interacted with Eastern Polynesians. Drechsel lends historical-sociolinguistic support to an area-wide Polynesian-based pidgin from early colonial times through the mid-nineteenth century in place of a European variety.

Language Contact in the Early Colonial Pacific redefines the understanding of how Europeans and Americans interacted with Pacific Islanders in eastern Polynesia during early encounters and offers an alternative model of language contact.

More on Drechsel


Drechsel has regularly taught courses in linguistic anthropology, ethnohistory and other related topics at UH Mānoa.

His interest in non-European pidgins also inspired his work behind the well-received case study entitled Mobilian Jargon (1997) of greater Louisiana, which focuses on the Muskogean-based American Indian pidgin of the Mississippi valley. Drechsel’s more recent work focuses on the eastern Pacific.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *