Bickerton, Derek

He coined the words 
acrolect, mesolect, and basilect.
He coined the words
acrolect, mesolect, and basilect.

(1926) A Linguist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He believes that the study of creole languages will provide deep insights into the development of all natural languages.

On Language

1. He coined the terms basilect, mesolect, and acrolect

Quotation -
"Although I graduated from the University of Cambridge, England in 1949, it wasn’t until the 1960s that I entered academic life, first as a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and then, after a year’s postgraduate work in linguistics at the University of Leeds, as Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Guyana (1967-71) – the "Senior" was perhaps due to my being the only linguist in the entire country! It was there that I developed a long-lasting interest in creole languages, and this, after a year at the University of Lancaster in England, brought me to Hawaii, where what is locally called "pidgin" is in fact a creole.

For twenty-four years I was a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Hawaii, having meanwhile received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Cambridge (1976). My work in Hawaii, and in particular my discovery that creole languages were produced by children from unstructured input in a single generation, led me to wonder where language had originally come from, and how it had developed to its present complexity. This led to an apprenticeship … a learning experience that involved struggling with a variety of unfamiliar disciplines. But I’m a card-carrying autodidact, and I’ve always found boundaries oppressive, whether of countries, institutions, or academic disciplines. Crossing them has given me some of the most rewarding experiences of my life."
(Source: William H. Calvin and Derek Bickerton, Lingua ex Machina: Reconciling Darwin and Chomsky with the human brain (MIT Press, 2000), "About the Authors." )

Please comment