Equatoguinean Spanish
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Equatoguinean Spanish ( es, Español ecuatoguineano) is the variety of
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
spoken in
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ( es, link=no, República de Guinea Ecuatorial, french: link=no, République de Guinée équatoria ...
. This is the only Spanish variety that holds national official status in
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area and regions of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. These include West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa. Geopolitically, in addition to the African co ...
. It is regulated by the Equatoguinean Academy of the Spanish Language and is spoken by about 90% of the population, estimated at 1,170,308 for the year 2010 (though population figures for this country are highly dubious), all of them second-language speakers.


History

Spanish Guinea Spanish Guinea (Spanish: ''Guinea Española'') was a set of insular and continental territories controlled by Spain from 1778 in the Gulf of Guinea and on the Bight of Bonny, in Central Africa. It gained independence in 1968 as Equatorial G ...
(along with the islands of
Bioko Bioko (; historically Fernando Po; bvb, Ëtulá Ëria) is an island off the west coast of Africa and the northernmost part of Equatorial Guinea. Its population was 335,048 at the 2015 census and it covers an area of . The island is located of ...
, formerly Fernando Pó) became a Spanish colony after being obtained from Portugal in exchange for American territories in 1778 under the First Treaty of San Ildefonso. Full colonization of the continental interior was not established until the end of the 19th century. The present nation of Equatorial Guinea became independent on October 12, 1968. While the country has maintained its indigenous linguistic diversity, Spanish is the national and official language. Spanish is spoken by about 90% of the population in Bioko and coastal
Río Muni Río Muni (called ''Mbini'' in Fang) is the Continental Region (called ''Región Continental'' in Spanish) of Equatorial Guinea, and comprises the mainland geographical region, covering . The name is derived from the Muni River, along which t ...
and between 60% to 70% in the interior of Río Muni.


Features

As observed in other countries of
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically, the area and regions of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. These include West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa. Geopolitically, in addition to the African co ...
, the Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea is influenced by
Bantu languages The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages spoken by the Bantu people of Central, Southern, Eastern africa and Southeast Africa. They form the largest branch of the Southern Bantoid languages. The ...
. Equatoguinean Spanish is more like
Peninsular Spanish Peninsular Spanish ( es, español peninsular) (also known as the Spanish of Spain ( es, español de España, links=no), European Spanish ( es, español europeo, links=no), Iberian Spanish ( es, español ibérico, links=no) or Spanish Spanish ( es ...
than American Spanish dialects. Here are some features of Equatoguinean Spanish: * Syllable-final /s/ is alveolar rather than the glottal found in much of Latin America. * Intervocalic /d/ is uniformly pronounced as a stop or a tap The fricative/approximant ~ð̞realization found in most other Spanish-speaking countries almost never occurs. * /ɾ/ and /r/ are merged. The merged phoneme is most commonly realized as occurs less frequently. * Syllable-final /ɾ/ and /l/ are generally distinguished despite the native Bantu languages having no such distinction. Both phonemes are very occasionally elided in word-final position. * Word-final /n/ is rarely velarized to * Articles are omitted. * The pronoun ''usted'' can be used with the ''tú'' verbal conjugation. * There is no distinction between indicative and subjunctive moods. * ''Vosotros'' is used interchangeably with ''ustedes''. * The preposition ''en'' replaces ''a'' to mark a destination: ''voy'' ''en'' '' Bata'' instead of ''voy'' ''a'' ''Bata''.


Comparison to Caribbean Spanish

According to John Lipski, a comparison between the Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea and
Caribbean Spanish * Caribbean Spanish ( es, español caribeño, ) is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. The Spanish language was introduced to the Caribbean in 1492 with the voyages of Christopher Columbus. It resembles the S ...
does not hint at an influence of African languages in Caribbean Spanish, despite some earlier theories. Both varieties of Spanish are very different. The main influence on the Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea seems to be the varieties spoken by native Spanish colonists. In a different paper, however, Lipski notes that the phonotactics of African languages might have reinforced, in Caribbean Spanish, the consonant reduction that was already taking place in Spanish from Southern Spain.


See also

* Equatoguinean literature in Spanish *
Pichinglis Pichinglis, commonly referred to by its speakers as ''Pichi'' and formally known as Fernando Po Creole English (''Fernandino''), is an Atlantic English-lexicon creole language spoken on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. It is an offshoot ...
(Fernando Po Creole English) * Saharan Spanish


References

{{Romance languages Spanish dialects Languages of Equatorial Guinea Spanish language in Africa