Derek Bickerton was a world-famous linguist and author. He died in 2018, at the age of 91 years. He has written scholarly books about creole languages, human evolution, the brain, but also poetry and novels. Ten years before he died, he had written a kind of intellectual biography focusing on his research on creole languages and pidgins which he had called Bastard Tongues: A Trailblazing Linguist Finds Clues to Our Common Humanity in the World’s Lowliest Languages. These (according to the public, not according to him or me) lowliest languages are pidgins and creoles.
When this book came out in 2008, published when he was 81 years old, I did not get to read it. For one thing, there … ↪