Communication in the Early Modern Indian Ocean World

Michael Pearson


People living on the shores of the early modern Indian Ocean spoke many languages. To communicate, whether for trade or other reasons, several strategies were found. I have already sketched the role of cultural brokers. The present study looks at silent trade, and the possibly existence of linguas franca, second languages widely spoken in the area. The two most commonly found were Portuguese and Arabic.


Indian Ocean; lingua franca; silent trade

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