Butler English

Butler English is a pidgin spoken in India. Despite its name, ButlE is not restricted to any occupation or region, though it is restricted to a certain class. It has its roots in the hierarchical relation of the dominant and the dominated. The label pidgin for ButlE has therefore been questioned and alternative labels like ʼsemi-pidginʼ or ʼminimal pidginʼ have been suggested. ButlE oscillates between a pidgin and an early fossilised interlanguage. ButlE is spoken by generally uneducated bilinguals knowing some English, such as guides showing foreign visitors around, market women selling wares to foreigners frequenting Indian markets, domestic staff of hotels, catering to tourists and upper-class Indians, domestic staff of prestigious clubs and other recreation centres, and domestic staff employed in racially mixed or westernised Indian households. And it is spoken in a very restricted set of domains: the domestic work-sphere domain, fixed locales like those of hotels, clubs and households, during fixed working hours to indicate the role-relationship of master and servant and to discuss limited topics.

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