Studies of pidginization have often characterized the minimal nonnative linguistic systems that result from the process of pidginization in negative terms, as the absence of morphosyntactic features of the native target language. Such negative definitions (1) fail to explain what pidgins are like and how they get that way and (2) fail to provide a means for describing and explaining continual linguistic development of nonnative interlanguage systems beyond the minimal skeletal systems characteristic of the earliest stage of interlanguage development.
This paper suggests that one important principle of interlanguage construction can account for both minimal "pidginized" interlanguage systems and more developed interlanguage systems. The One to One Principle of interlanguage construction specifies that an interlanguage system should be constructed in such a way that an intended underlying meaning is expressed with one clear invariant surface form or construction. Evidence for this principle is drawn from recent second language acquisition research on Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, and Swedish as second languages.