The long-lost “black Spanish”
The pidginized Spanish learned by millions of Africans in Latin America had a profound but as yet underexplored impact on the formation of Spanish American dialects. Literary imitations from previous centuries are questionable, and few vestiges of actual Afro-Hispanic language remain. This paper reports on a unique Afro-American speech community in highland Bolivia, possibly the oldest surviving Afro-American variety of any language. The Afro-Yungueño dialect, now spoken in contact with regional Andean Spanish, differs systematically from any other Spanish dialect, and provides empirical evidence of the earliest stages of Afro-Hispanic language in the Americas. It also provides key evidence in the debate surrounding the possible creolization of Spanish and Portuguese in other Afro-American contexts.
Keywords: semicreoles, pidgins, Afro-Hispanic language, Bolivian Spanish, Spanish dialectology, creole language
Published online: 06 April 2007
Cited by other publications
Balam, Osmer, Ana de Prada Pérez & Dámaris Mayans
Niño-Murcia, Mercedes, Juan Carlos Godenzzi & Jason Rothman
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