Place of birth
United Kingdom

Derek Bickerton

Short biography
Derek Bickerton had a distinguished career as a linguist, specialising in Creole languages. Born in England, he worked for a time in the Caribbean before settling in Hawaii. He died in 2018.

Derek Bickerton had several careers. He was born in England in 1926, spent several years in the Caribbean, including surveying trips into the unmapped interior of Guyana and work as a journalist in Barbados in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was in this period he wrote The Adventures of Boysie Singh (1962) and a novel about the Caribbean, Tropicana (1963). Thereafter he developed a distinguished academic career as a linguist who advanced the study of creole languages. After a spell teaching in Ghana, he spent four years as a senior lecturer at the University of Guyana. Out of this came his The Dynamics of a Creole System (1975). From 1971-1995 he taught at the University of Hawaii where he developed his theories on the origins of languages, writing such books as Roots of Language; Language and Species; Adam's Tongue and More than Nature Needs: Language, Mind, and Evolution. He continued to write works of fiction. He died in Hawaii in 2018.