year, Dicks Raeparanga Thomas was awarded an MA in Linguistics at
the University of Papua New Guinea. His thesis, Sotpela Grama
bilong Tokpisin (‘A Short Grammar of Tokpisin’),
was written in Tokpisin (or Tok Pisin, the PNG dialect of Melanesian
Pidgin). Two external examiners of the thesis also wrote their comments
and recommendations in Tok Pisin. [This is probably a first for
a pidgin or creole!]
is the abstract of the thesis in Tok Pisin and English:
em i wanpela long tripela dailek i stap ananit long bikpela tokples
Melenisien Pijin. Narapela tupela, em Bislama long Vanuatu na Pijin
long Solomon. Planti save manmeri bin wokim na raitim wok painaut
long dispela tripela dailek. Tasol planti long ol dispela wok, ol
i raitim long Tokinglis o long narapela tokples bilong ol waitman.
Planti manmeri bilong Papua Niugini, Vanuatu na Solomon i save popaia
long ol dispela samting long wanem tokples ol i bin raitim wok painaut,
em i tokples ol asples manmeri i no save long ol. Mi gat bikpela
tingting se sapos yumi laik manmeri save long grama bilong tokples,
yumi ma yusim long tokim grama bilong tokples.
na dispela wok painaut, mi raitim ol samting long Tokpisin. Mi yusim
Tokpisin long wanem, mi laik ol manmeri bilong
Tokpisin bai ritim grama bilong Tokpisin long Tokpisin.
tu as bilong dispela wok painaut, em long rait long Tokpisin bilong
kamapim grama wod na tokim grama bilong Tokpisin long Tokpisin.
Olsem na long dispela wok painaut mi lukluk long: (a) wod na hapwod
bilong Tokpisin, na (b) ol kain sentens long Tokpisin.
is one of the three dialects of Melanesian Pidgin. The other two
are Bislama in Vanuatu and Pijin in the Solomons. Many scholars
have done research and published their work on these varieties
of Melanesian Pidgin. But much of this work was done and written
in English and other metropolitan languages. Consequently many
people in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomons have not
been able to read these published works because they were written
in languages the people do not understand. It is my view that
if we want the Melanesian people to study the grammar of their
language, the language that is going to be used to describe the
grammar of the language must be the language per se. In other
words, we must develop a metalanguage for use in describing the
the above facts, this research and findings on Tokpisin is written
in Tokpisin so that the person who speaks Tokpisin can read the
grammar of Tokpisin in Tokpisin.
other reason for this research is the pressing need for us to write
in Tokpisin and to create grammatical terms to be used to describe
the grammar of Tokpisin. Hence the main focus of the endeavour at
this point in time is on: (a) the morphology, and (b) types of Tokpisin