Edited by Irene Vogel
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 16] 2020
► pp. 241–258
African language survivals and their identification
This article examines the revitalization of African language survivals in the former maroon community of Palenque, Colombia. During much of the 20th century, lexical Africanisms in everyday Palenquero creole were scant. Ritual language (Lumbalú) and the speech of a few elderly Palenqueros still contained isolated Africanisms, but these had become archaic, nearing extinction.
Profound sociolinguistic changes in Palenque in the 1980-90s introduced sentiments of negritud (‘black awareness’) and appreciation for “all things African”, lexicalia included. Thus, younger Palenqueros – with the help of some Lengua teachers – developed lists of Afro-Palenquero archaisms, rescuing them from oblivion. Various mechanisms spread these lexicalia “africana” to the wider speech community, where they are embraced as an index of their maroon and Afro-Colombian identity.
- 2.Palenque: Africa in Latin America
- 3.Language dynamics from 1950–2000: Hypervaluation of perceived lexical Africanisms
- 4.Palenque in the new millennium:
Lengua revitalization, ethnic pride and the community-wide reappraisal of African archaisms
- 4.1Sociolinguistic changes post 2000
- 4.2The community-wide reappraisal of lexical African archaisms
- 4.2.1Integration of Lengua lessons into the school curriculum
- 4.2.2Grammar prescriptivism and the recasting of creole morphosyntax
- 5.Summary and conclusion
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