Papiamento - History - European and African Origin Theory

European and African Origin Theory

There is the fact that Peter Stuyvesant first was appointed in Brazil, before being appointed in Curaçao. With him he brought Indians, soldiers, etc. from Brazil not only to Curaçao but also to "New Netherland". In Stuyvesant's Resolution Book while he was in charge of the ABC islands, there is document # 4b in the Curaçao Papers, presenting the multi-ethnic makeup of the garrison and the use of local Indians as cowboys: "... .whereas the number of Indians, together with those of Aruba and Bonnairo, have increased here by half, and we have learned that they frequently ride ..." Surely they communicated with each other in 'papiamento' a language originating since the first Europeans began to arrive on these islands under Ojeda, Juan de Ampues, Bejarano and mixing with the natives. Stuyvesant also took some Esopus Indians captives and brought them as slaves to Curaçao. There was little Dutch government activity in the management of DWI because during the period 1568-1648, they were actively fighting for their independence and were not in a position to also manage their colonies.

A more recent theory supposedly holds that the origins of Papiamento lie in the Afro-Portuguese creoles that arose almost a century earlier, in the west coast of Africa and in the Cape Verde islands. From the 16th to the late 17th century, most of the slaves taken to the Caribbean came from Portuguese trading posts ("factories") in those regions. Around those ports there developed several Portuguese-African pidgins and creoles, such as Guinea-Bissau Creole, Mina, Cape Verdean Creole, Angolar, and Guene. The latter bears strong resemblances to Papiamento. According to this theory, Papiamento was derived from those pre-existing pidgins/creoles, especially Guene, which were brought to the ABC islands by slaves and/or traders from Cape Verde and West Africa.

Some specifically claim that the Afro-Portuguese mother language of Papiamentu arose from a mixture of the Mina pidgin/creole (a mixture of Cape Verdean pidgin/creole with Twi) and the Angolar creole (derived from languages of Angola and Congo). Proponents of this theory of Papiamento contend that it can easily be compared and linked with other Portuguese creoles, especially the African ones (namely Forro, Guinea-Bissau Creole, and the Cape Verdean Creole). For instance, compare mi ("I" in Cape Verdean Creole and Papiamento) or bo (meaning you in both creoles). Mi is from the Portuguese mim (pronounced ) "me", and bo is from Portuguese vós "you". The use of "b" instead of "v" is very common in the African Portuguese Creoles (probably deriving from the pronunciation of Portuguese settlers in Africa, numerous from the North of Portugal rural areas). However, because of the similarities between Portuguese and Spanish, it can also be argued that these two words derive from Spanish "mi" and "vos" (usually pronounced bos).

Papiamento is, in some degree, intelligible with Cape Verdean creoles and could be explained by the immigration of Portuguese Sephardic Jews from Cape Verde to these Caribbean islands, although this same fact could also be used by dissenters to explain a later Portuguese influence on an already existing Spanish-based creole.

Another comparison is the use of the verb ta and taba ta from vernacular Portuguese (an aphesis of estar, "to be" or está, "it is") with verbs where Portuguese does and with others where it does not use it: "Mi ta + verb" or "Mi taba ta + verb", also the rule in the São Vicente Creole and other Barlavento Cape Verdean Creoles . These issues can also be seen in other Portuguese Creoles (Martinus 1996; see also Fouse 2002 and McWhorter 2000), but some are also found in colloquial Spanish.

Read more about this topic:  Papiamento, History

Famous quotes containing the words theory, origin, european and/or african:

    The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

    The real, then, is that which, sooner or later, information and reasoning would finally result in, and which is therefore independent of the vagaries of me and you. Thus, the very origin of the conception of reality shows that this conception essentially involves the notion of a COMMUNITY, without definite limits, and capable of a definite increase of knowledge.
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914)

    In verity ... we are the poor. This humanity we would claim for ourselves is the legacy, not only of the Enlightenment, but of the thousands and thousands of European peasants and poor townspeople who came here bringing their humanity and their sufferings with them. It is the absence of a stable upper class that is responsible for much of the vulgarity of the American scene. Should we blush before the visitor for this deficiency?
    Mary McCarthy (1912–1989)

    The confirmation of Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative voices to be added to the [Supreme] Court in recent memory, carries a sobering message for the African- American community.... As he begins to make his mark upon the lives of African Americans, we must acknowledge that his successful nomination is due in no small measure to the support he received from black Americans.
    Kimberly Crenshaw (b. 1959)