Please note: This is a new edition of a previously announced text.
Now available as paperback!
In John McWhorter’s "Defining Creole" anthology of 2005, his collected
articles conveyed the following theme: His hypothesis that creole languages
are definable not just in the sociohistorical sense, but in the grammatical
sense. His publications since the 1990s have argued that all languages of the
world that lack a certain three traits together are creoles (i.e. born as pidgins
a few hundred years ago and fleshed out into real languages). He also argued
that in light of their pidgin birth, such languages are less grammatically
complex than others, as the result of their recent birth as pidgins. These two
claims have been highly controversial among creolists as well as other
In this volume, "Linguistic Simplicity and Complexity", McWhorter gathers
articles he has written since then, in the wake of responses from a wide
range of creolists and linguists. These articles represent a considerable
divergence in direction from his earlier work.