Keywords

Papiamentu, Aruba, Curacao, sociolinguistics

Abstract

Many creole languages have been studied by linguists and anthropologists alike in order to gain a better understanding as to their formations and social status within their respective cultures. Theories such as the Language Bioprogram hypothesis created by Derek Bickerton researched explicitly the genesis of creoles, primarily the creoles in Guyana and Hawaii. Although many creole languages are the main vernaculars of many cultures, they are often seen as having a lower status than the official language, usually a European language. Papiamentu, a language spoken in Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire, has carried a prestige that many other creoles do not possess; it is spoken by everyone on the islands. There are no class divides that determine what, when, and where the language can be used. It is accepted by the majority on the islands and has gained the status as an official language in March 2003 in Aruba and in March 2007 in Curacao and Bonaire. Although it encompasses this status, Papiamentu is still not accepted in every faction on the islands. It is not the language of instruction in the educational system and official government documentation is still written in Dutch. This research explored the issues of Papiamentu's social status on the islands and has correlated it to its use in several sectors in Aruba and Curacao. Primary research was carried in Aruba and Curacao for six weeks. Interviews along with participant-observation tackled issues such as Papiamentu's presence in education, how Papiamentu was used during childhood, Papiamentu in relation to other languages on the islands, and the use of Papiamentu within the media. This research was executed to acquire a better insight into the perceptions of Papiamentuss social status and whether these perspectives have a profound effect on its usage.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2010

Advisor

Howard, Rosalyn

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Anthropology

Degree Program

Anthropology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0003323

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0003323

Language

English

Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until August 2010; it will then be open access.

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