Pidgins and creoles have always attracted a great deal of interest - academic and otherwise - but in recent decades they have become increasingly important as a field of linguistic inquiry. Placing pidgins and creoles in the wider setting of linguistic theory, this book bridges the gap between introductory material and primary material, revising students' knowledge of the field as well as acquainting them with key areas of debate in pidgin and creole studies. The author provides a carefully balanced introduction to theoretical aspects of creolistics as well as an even-handed discussion of influences on pidgins and creoles which is well illustrated with rare examples of longer texts.