Returning a maverick creole to the fold: the Berbice Dutch enigma revisited

Mikael Parkvall, Bart Jacobs
2022 Folia linguistica  
Berbice Dutch was a creole language spoken in the Republic of Guyana in South America, a country first under Dutch, and later under British colonial rule. Owing mainly to Silvia Kouwenberg (A grammar of Berbice Dutch Creole, De Gruyter Mouton, 1994), we were blessed with a detailed synchronic documentation of Berbice Dutch before its demise. However, the formation of the language remains clouded in mystery: its grammar and (basic) lexicon display a seemingly unique mixture of Dutch (Creole) and
more » ... Eastern Ijo, as a result of which the language is often portrayed as a challenge to existing contact-linguistic theory. In this paper, a scenario is proposed that, rather than challenging the said theory, is fully grounded in it: it will be argued that the language was a case of serial glottogenesis: a first stage of creolisation was later followed by language mixing. The paper furthermore presents hitherto unknown historical data pertaining to the arrival of Ijo speakers in Berbice.
doi:10.1515/flin-2022-2051 fatcat:lhlx5nqfpvayvf5mv26nykpfwu