The Hispanization of Papiamento and what it means for naturalistic auxlangs

Saturday, May 17, 2008

There's an excerpt from an old (1972) paper here about the Hispanization of Papiamento, especially in urban areas.

The Hispanization of a Creole Language: Papiamentu

In a review of a textbook of Papiamentu, the Creole language of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire, Dillard states that "a very interesting study would be that of the varying relationships of Urban Papiamentu and Rural Papiamentu to Spanish...Even the brief visitor sees that such things exist (the bank clerk did say to me "Quiere cambiar tur... [correcting] ... to-do [slowly and carefully pronounced]?"). And Miss Lucille Haseth's paper on translation of news items into Papiamentu... rebuked a tendency toward hyper-Hispanization which quite clearly is an urban reality."

Although the example cited by Dillard is actually Papiamentu-tinged Spanish, rather than true Papiamentu, he is, in fact, entirely correct in stating that this Iberian-based Creole is, today, undergoing Hispanization. This affects the syntax and morphology of Papiamentu, and may additionally, as claimed by Navarro, affect its phonology.

Afrikaans has also always had that fear that somehow it could be turned back into Dutch with enough influence from there, and with IALs Interlingua is probably the most susceptible to this. There was even a discussion on interlng the other day about word order, whether it's acceptable to say 'tu me ha provideva', 'tu ha provideva me', or 'tu me ha provideva'.

Apparently Gode wrote that the second is the best:

Melior es

“Tu ha providite me ....”

Secundo le Grammatica de Gode e Blair a §69 on dice: “Pronomines
del caso secunde e reflexive (con le exception de constructiones
prepositional) precede le formas temporal simple [-va] mais seque
le participios, formas imperative, e le infinitivo”.

Assi “Deo me creava”, “Deo ha create me”, “Pro crear me, Deo ...”
“Crear me!”.

But this just goes to show that a language like Interlingua in its goal of being natural is the most susceptible to this. Almost immune are languages like Esperanto and Ido. The only time I've seen some Spanish influence in Ido is when people sometimes say hola, and there was some discussion the other day about whether to use the word kuya, which comes from cuyo in Spanish.

There's also a bit of confusion about transitive and intransitive verbs; the other day there was some discussion about whether you need to say finigar or can just say finar when you finish something. The answer is that you need to say finigar - just like how you need to say bitirmek in Turkish, whereas bitmek is only intransitive - but this is common in a lot of Indo-European languages and has nothing to do with Spanish in particular. Actually, in this case a Turk would have an easier time understanding the difference. Finar is the same as bitmek. Finigar is the same as bitirmek. Done.

One of the reasons why I really like Ido.


Steve said...

It's easier to draw automatically from a language with a well-developed lexicon than to produce "native" forms, and this can endanger a smaller or less-established language. (I'm thinking of Welsh in particular.)

As to Interlingua, you list "tu me ha providite" (not "provideva!) twice; I suppose one should be "tu ha me provideva." The conclusion is wrong, however: Gode was talking about (present) participles on their own, not as part of a perfect construction: Creante lo, io errava (cf. Sp. "creándolo").

The lack of a form such as ?kuya (Eo kies) is one of the major practical annoyances of Ido.

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