I noticed an obituary in the NY Times for John Holm, an expert on Pidgins and Creoles. During the past 40 years creole languages have been reconsidered. They were long considered gibberish forms of languages used by slaves and their descendants. Now they are generally viewed as true languages, the invention of people born into a world without access to a mother tongue. As such, they are of particular interest to this blog because they offer proof that languages are a natural by-product of living in a human community. Even if you kidnap people, carry them across the ocean, and force them to live with people who share no common language, a true language with grammatical rules will appear amongst the descendants of the kidnapped. Like the emergence of sign languages, creoles are a testament to human nature. John Holm was one of the leaders of the movement to reconsider creoles.