OHN HOLM, the linguist who launched the study of Creole and Pidgin languages, died in Portugal on December 28. As a young man, Holm encountered "Pirate English" spoken on the Caribbean coast, a pidgin language probably derived from British navy and pirate ships in the eighteenth-century. Among his many books are Central American English, Dictionary of Bahamian English (with Alison Watt Shilling), Pidgins and Creoles, Comparative Creole Syntax (with Peter Patrick), and Contact Languages: Critical Concepts in Language Studies (with Susanne Michaelis). He studied languages at the University of Michigan, the Sorbonne, Columbia, and University College London. He taught at the University of the Andes, the College of the Bahamas, Hunter College, the CUNY Graduate Center, and the University of Coimbra.
For more details, see William Grimes's New York Times obituary, "John Holm, Pioneer in Linguistics, Dies at 72."