Language in Society


Koines and koineization

Jeff Siegela1

a1 Pacific Languages Unit, The University of the South Pacific


The term “koine” has been applied to a variety of languages, only some of which are analagous in form and function to the original Greek koinē. The term “koineization” has more recently been applied to the process of levelling which may result in a koine. This article examines various definitions and usages of these terms in the literature and proposes a more precise utilization in the context of contact and resultant mixing between linguistic subsystems. (Languages in contact, language mixing, pidgin and creole studies, social psychology)