Torres Strait Creole

Torres Strait Creole belongs to the varieties of restructured English spoken in Australia. The variety arose in the Torres Strait Islands, following the arrival of large numbers of Europeans, South Sea Islanders, Papua New Guineans and others. Pacific Pidgin English came to be used as a lingua franca and started to creolise by the 1890s. The creole then spread throughout the islands, not only because it was useful but also because many considered it to be English. Today Torres Strait Creole is spoken in the Torres Strait Islands between Cape York and Papua New Guinea, and along the north coast of the Queensland mainland. It has around 3,000 native speakers and up to 12,000 second language speakers.

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