Origins of a Creole

Origins of a Creole

by Bart Jacobs

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Overview

This study embarks on the intriguing quest for the origins of the Caribbean creole language Papiamentu. In the literature on the issue, widely diverging hypotheses have been advanced, but scholars have not come close to a consensus. The present study casts new and long-lasting light on the issue, putting forward compelling interdisciplinary evidence that Papiamentu is genetically related to the Portuguese-based creoles of the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea-Bissau, and Casamance (Senegal). Following the trans-Atlantic transfer of native speakers to Curaçao in the latter half of the 17th century, the Portuguese-based proto-variety underwent a far-reaching process of relexification towards Spanish, affecting the basic vocabulary while leaving intact the original phonology, morphology, and syntax. Papiamentu is thus shown to constitute a case of 'language contact reduplicated' in that a creole underwent a second significant restructuring process (relexification). These explicit claims and their rigorous underpinning will set standards for both the study of Papiamentu and creole studies at large and will be received with great interest in the wider field of contact linguistics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614511427
Publisher: De Gruyter
Publication date: 05/29/2012
Series: Language Contact and Bilingualism [LCB] Series , #3
Pages: 401
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Bart Jacobs, University of Konstanz, Germany.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements v

Abbreviations xiii

Introduction 1

Presentation of the languages considered in the present study 3

Papiamentu (PA) 3

Cape Verdean Creole (CV) 6

The Creole of Guinea-Bissau and Casamance (GBC) 8

Hypothesis examined in the present study 9

Methodological remarks 10

Linguistic evidence 10

Negative evidence 11

Historical evidence 14

Structure of the present study 14

1 Critical review of the literature on the origins of Papiamentu 17

Introduction 17

1.1 From Schabel (1704) to Lenz (1928) 18

1.2 Afro-Portuguese hypotheses: from Lenz (1928) to monogenesis 20

1.3 Spanish hypotheses 24

1.4 Critical discussion of the Spanish hypotheses 27

1.4.1 Linguistic continuity between the pre- and post-1634 period? 28

1.4.2 Linguistic evidence against Old Spanish in PA's superstrate 29

1.4.3 About the tendency to attribute the Portuguese to other Hispanic varieties 29

1.5 PA birth among the Sephardim? 30

1.5.1 On the linguistic profile of the early Curaçaoan Sephardim 31

1.5.2 Demographic arguments against a PA birth among the Sephardim 36

1.6 Where does the Portuguese come from? 39

1.6.1 A shared origin for all Afro-Iberian creoles in the Caribbean? 39

1.6.2 Goodman's Brazilian Creole Hypothesis 43

1.6.3 Gulf of Guinea Portuguese-based Creole 44

1.6.4 Upper Guinea Portuguese-based Creole 46

1.7 Summary 48

2 Phonology 51

Introduction 51

2.1 Vowel features 52

2.1.1 Vowel raising 52

2.1.2 Rounding of unstressed vowels 55

2.1.3 Vowel harmony 56

2.1.4 Monophthongs 57

2.2 Consonant features 62

2.2.1 The voiceless palatal fricative /∫/ in PA and Upper Guinea PC 62

2.2.2 Retention of Old Portuguese voiceless affricate /t∫/ in PA and Upper Guinea PC 68

2.2.3 Rejection of voiced fricatives in PA and Upper Guinea PC 69

2.2.4 The lack of lambdacism (/r/ > /1/) in PA and Upper Guinea PC 72

2.2.5 Rhotacism (/d/ > /r/) 72

2.3 Syllabic restructuring 73

2.3.1 Apheresis of prefixes 74

2.3.2 Vowel epenthesis 75

2.3.3 Metathesis of the /r/ 76

2.3.4 Negative evidence: syllabic restructuring in PLQ and Gulf of Guinea PC 77

2.4 Paroxytonic verb stress in PA and SCV 78

2.4.1 Verb stress in GBC 80

2.4.2 On the diachrony of paroxytonic verb stress in PA and SCV 80

2.5 Final remarks on phonology 81

3 Selected parts of speech 83

Introduction 83

3.1 Personal pronouns 83

3.1.1 1sg (a) mi 86

3.1.2 Emphatic a- subject pronouns 86

3.1.3 2pl SCV nhos 88

3.1.4 Digression: 2sg polite pronouncs in PA 89

3.1.5 PA nan 90

3.1.6 Final remarks on pronouns 95

3.2 Prepositions 95

3.2.1 PA / Upper Guinea PC di 97

3.2.2 PA / Upper Guinea PC na 98

3.2.3 PA / Upper Guinea PC te 99

3.2.4 PA / Upper Guinea PC riba (di) 100

3.2.5 PA / Upper Guinea PC pa 101

3.2.6 Zero preposition with motion verb + place 103

3.2.7 Reanalysis of Iberian prepositions/adverbs 'in front of' and 'behind' as nouns 104

3.2.8 Composed prepositions 106

3.2.9 A reassessment of the time-depth of prepositions in PA 113

3.2.10 Final remarks on prepositions 114

3.3 Interrogatives 114

3.3.1 Equally transparent interrogative paradigms 116

3.3.2 PA: Portuguese rather than Spanish etyma 116

3.3.3 Early PA *kantu, *kal 116

3.3.4 PA unda, SCV unde and GBC nunde 117

3.3.5 PA / Upper Guineal PC ken 117

3.4 Conjunctions 118

3.4.1 Coordinate conjunctions 118

3.4.2 Subordinate conjunctions 120

3.4.3 Final remarks on conjunctions 129

3.5 Miscellaneous 129

3.5.1 Reciprocity and reflexivity 129

3.5.2 The deictic marker Early PA / Upper Guineas PC es 134

3.5.3 Negation 139

4 Morphology 143

Introduction 143

4.1 Derivational morphology 144

4.1.1 PA -mentu 144

4.1.2 PA -dó 145

4.1.3 Upper Guinea PC -mentu / -dor 145

4.1.4 The suffix -dadi in Early PA texts 149

4.2 Inflectional morphology 150

4.2.1 The diachrony of PA's past participle morphone -/ø/ 151

4.2.2 The regularization of past participle morphology in PA and Upper Guinea PC 154

4.3 Passivization in (Early) PA and Upper Guinea PC 155

4.3.1 Passivization in present-day PA 155

4.3.2 Passivization in Upper Guinea PC 156

4.3.3 Auxiliary-less passives in Early PA texts 157

4.3.4 Digression: On the reliability of Early PA evangenlical texts 162

4.3.5 Auxiliary-less passives (/passive verbs) in present-day Papiamentu 163

4.3.6 On the incorporation of wòrdu and ser 166

4.3.7 Digression: The presumed non-nativeness of passives in PA 168

4.3.8 Final remarks on passivization in PA and Upper Guinea PC 168

4.4 Final remarks on morphology 169

5 Verbal system 171

Introduction 171

5.1 PA / Upper Guinea PC preverbal ta 172

5.1.1 Analyzing CV to as a progressive aspect marker 173

5.1.2 Analyzing PA to as [+imperfective], rather than [+present] 186

5.1.3 Final remarks on PA / Upper Guinea PC preverabal ta 192

5.2 The diachrony of the PA perfective past marker a 193

5.3 Future tense marking in PA and Upper Guinea PC 197

5.3.1 The PA future tense marker lo vs. its absence in Upper Guinea PC 198

5.3.2 On the origin of PA lo 200

5.3.3 The diachrony of future tense marking in PA and Upper Guiena PC 203

5.3.4 Digression: SCV al and PA lo 207

5.4 PA / BaCV taba - tabata 208

5.4.1 Digression: On the diachrony of preverbal taba and postverbal -ba 211

5.5 The issue of relative versus absolute tense marking in PA 214

5.6 A comparison of stative verbs in PA and SCV 217

5.6.1 The stative - nonstative distinction in creoles 217

5.6.2 Strong vs. weak stative verbs 218

5.6.3 The class of strong stative verbs 219

5.6.4 The class of weak stative verbs 221

5.6.5 Contrastive analysis 223

5.6.6 Digression: The case of GBC 225

5.7 Auxiliary verbs 226

5.7.1 Modal auxiliaries 227

5.7.2 Copular verbs 230

5.7.3 Other auxiliaries 240

5.7.4 Final remarks on auxiliary verbs 254

5.8 Final remarks on the verbal system 255

6 Summary and interim analysis of the linguistic results 257

Introduction 257

6.1 Predominance of Portuguese-derived function words in PA 257

6.2 Structural overlap between PA and Upper Guinea PC 259

6.3 Negative evidence from PLQ and Gulf of Guinea PC 260

6.3.1 Digression: What sets PA and Upper Guinea PC apart from Gulf of Guinea PC 261

6.4 Old Portuguese features in PA and Upper Guinea PC 264

6.5 The value of historical PA and Upper Guinea PC texts 265

6.6 West-Atlantic and Mande features in PA and Upper Guinea PC 266

7 The historical ties between Upper Guinea and Curaçao 269

Introduction 269

7.1 On the presumed insignificance of Upper Guinea to the history of Curaçao 270

7.2 The Dutch presence in Senegambia in the 17th century 273

7.2.1 The Dutch in Gorée 277

7.2.2 The Dutch on the Petitie Côte (Rufisque, Portudal and Joal) 279

7.2.3 The loss of Gorée and the Dutch retreat from Senegambia 281

7.2.4 The Dutch ties with Cacheu and the Cape Verde Islands 285

7.2.5 Final remarks on the Dutch presence in Senegambia in the 17th century 289

7.3 Dutch slave trade from Upper Guinea to Curaçao 289

7.3.1 Other factors relevant to the Dutch slave trade from Upper Guinea to Curaçao 291

7.4 Sephardic Jewish networks linking Upper Guinea to Curaçao 294

7.4.1 Ties between the Sephardim in Upper Guinea and Amsterdam 296

7.4.2 Sephardim networks directly linking Upper Guineas to Curaçao 297

7.4.3 Partnership between the Dutch WIC and the Sephardim 299

7.5 Diffusion of Upper Guinea PC to the mainland, 16th and 17th centuries 300

7.6 Summary, conclusions, and final remarks 304

8 Discussion: The development from Upper Guineas PC to Papiamentu 307

Introduction 307

8.1 Sociolinguistic considerations 308

8.1.1 On the choice of slaves in the early period of Curaçao's settlement 308

8.1.2 Sociolinguistic issues relevant to the consolidation of Upper Guinea PC on Curaçao and its diffusion among the (slave) population 312

8.2 From Upper Guinea PC to PA: a case of rapid relexification towards Spanish 319

8.2.1 PA, monogenesis, and the notion of relexification in creole studies 320

8.2.2 From Upper Guinea PC to PA: 'relexification' rather than 'heavy borrowing' 322

8.2.3 Analyzing Papiamentu as a mixed language 327

8.2.4 The source(s) of the Spanish elements in PA's basic content vocabulary 331

8.3 Summary of the discussion 335

9 Conclusions 337

Appendices 339

References 345

Index 385

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