The Atlas presents full colour maps of the distribution among the pidgins and creoles of 130 structural linguistic features drawn from their phonology, syntax, morphology, and lexicons. In addition there are some maps with relevant sociolinguistic features. The languages include pidgins, creoles, and other contact languages based on English, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and French and languages from Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Each map is accompanied by a detailed description and discussion of the feature. The project is the successor to the successful World Atlas of Language Structures and draws on the same linguistic, cartographic, and computing knowledge and skills of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. The Atlas is published alongside a three-volume Survey of Pidgins and Creoles which describes the histories and linguistic characteristics of 76 languages. The books have been designed, edited, and written by the world's leading experts in the field and represent the most systematic and comprehensive guide ever published to the world's pidgins, creoles and mixed languages. Individually and together the books are a unique resource of outstanding value for linguists of all persuasions throughout the world.
Susanne Michaelis is a senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig specializing in language contact and comparative creole studies. Between 2008 and 2011, she held a researcher position in the APiCS project at the University of Giessen. Her early work focused on French-based Indian Ocean creoles, in particular Seychelles Creole (Temps et aspect en creole seychellois, 1993; Komplexe Syntax im Seychellen-Kreol, 1994). She is also editor of Roots of creole structures (Benjamins, 2008) and coeditor of the anthology Contact Languages: Critical concepts in linguistics (Routledge, 2008).
Philippe Maurer is a Zurich-based creolist working on Ibero-Romance based creoles, mainly on Papiamentu (Les modifications temporelles et modales du verbe dans le papiamento de Curacao, 1988) and on the Gulf of Guinea Creoles (L'angolar: un creole afro-portugais parle a Sao Tome, 1995, and Principense. Grammar, texts, and vocabulary, 2009. A book on the extinct Portuguese based Creole of Batavia and Tugu (Indonesia) will appear in 2011.
Martin Haspelmath is senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Honorary Professor at the University of Leipzig. His research interests are primarily in the area of broadly comparative and diachronic morphosyntax (e.g. Indefinite Pronouns, OUP 1997) and in language contact (Loanwords in the World's Languages, co-edited with UriTadmor, de Gruyter 2009). He is co-editor with Matthew S. Dryer, David Gil, and Bernard Comrie, of The World Atlas of Language Structures (OUP 2005).
Magnus Huber is Professor of English at the University of Giessen and an expert on English-based pidgins and creoles. He authored Ghanaian Pidgin English in its West African Context (Benjamins 1999), and edited Spreading the word. The issue of diffusion among the Atlantic Creoles (University of Westminster Press 1999) and Synchronic and diachronic perspectives on contact languages (Benjamins 2007). His research interests include world Englishes, historical sociolinguistics, dialectology, corpus linguistics, and historical linguistics.