Creoles developed to provide a world of meaning to enable their speakers to adapt to the constraints of the new situation. More specifically, they associate the expansion of the Portuguese state with the appearance of Portuguese Creoles. The linguistic result was creolization, i.e. the creation of a new language of self-reference and identification. The chapter shows that more work remains to be done on the socio-historical context of pidginization and creolization, and on the sociolinguistic dimensions of pidgin and Creole languages. Historical linguistics, which is more specifically concerned with the question of language change, has traditionally dealt with diffusion resulting in divergence rather than convergence. The very different social circumstances surrounding pidginogenesis in the Atlantic and Pacific have of course been recognized by creolists. In particular, the effect of slave vs. migratory labour trade has been cited as contributory to the rate of creolization and the different character of the Creole languages which have emerged in these circumstances.