LWM 83: Papiamentu

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783929075441
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Silvia Kouwenberg and Eric Murray
University of the West Indies, Kingston

Papiamentu is a creole language spoken natively by about 250,000 people, the majority of them in the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao), some 30,000 in the Netherlands. Dutch is the official language in the islands and most of the population consider themselves polyglots, with some competence also in Dutch, Spanish and English.

The sketch will contain sections on phonology, morphology and syntax of Papiamentu, based in part on intuitions provided by native speakers of Curaçoan and Aruban Papiamentu. Emphasis will be given to those properties of Papiamentu that are most interesting from a typological perspective in the area of morphology. Papiamentu is unusual among creole languages in having a well-developed derivational component, verbal inflection and a morphologically marked passive construction. In the area of phonology, research by the authors has revealed interaction between the tonal accent system of Papiamentu and a limited form of quantity sensitivity. Among its interesting syntactic characteristics which count as a-typical properties of creole languages are a clearly defined class of adjectives, extensive use of complex prepositional phrases, and processes of subject-auxiliary inversion and stylistic inversion of subject and predicate.

ISBN 9783929075441. Languages of the World/Materials 83. 58 pp. 1994.

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