PAPIAMENTO (English: /ˌpɑːpiəˈmɛntoʊ, ˌpæp-/ ) or
PAPIAMENTU (English: /ˌpɑːpiəˈmɛntuː, ˌpæp-/ ) is a West
Iberian creole language spoken in the
Dutch West Indies and believed
to be derived from Portuguese ,
Judaeo-Portuguese , Spanish and
Judaeo-Spanish . It is the most-widely spoken language on the
Caribbean ABC islands , having official status in
Papiamento is a language derived from African and Portuguese languages with some influences from Indigenous American languages , English , Dutch and Spanish .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Local development theory * 1.2 European and African origin theory * 1.3 Linguistic and historical ties with Upper Guinea Portuguese Creole * 1.4 Present status
* 2 Dialects
* 3 Phonology
* 3.1 Orthography * 3.2 Vowels and diphthongs * 3.3 Stress and tone
* 4 Lexicon
* 4.1 Vocabulary * 4.2 Dictionaries * 4.3 Grammar
* 5 Expressions
* 6 Examples
* 6.1 Phrase samples
* 7 Comparison of vocabularies * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Bibliography * 11 External links and further reading
The precise historical origins of Papiamento have not been established. Historical constraints, core vocabulary and grammatical features that Papiamento shares with Cape Verdean Creole suggest that the basic ingredients are Portuguese, and that other influences occurred at a later time (17th and 18th centuries, respectively).
Its parent language is Iberian for sure, but scholars dispute whether Papiamento is derived from Portuguese or from Spanish . A summary of the century-long debate on Papiamento's origins is provided in Jacobs (2009a).
The name of the language itself comes from papia, pap(e)o or pap(e)ar
("to chat", "to talk"), a word present in Portuguese (um papo, "a
chat") and colloquial Spanish; compare with Papiá Kristang
("Christian talk"), a
Portuguese-based creole of
Spain claimed dominion over the islands in the 15th century, but made little use of them. Portuguese merchants had been trading extensively in the West Indies, and with the Union with Castille, this trade extended to the Castillian West Indies, as the Spanish kings favoured the free movement of people. In 1634, the Dutch West India Company (WIC) took possession of the islands, deporting most of the small remaining Arawak and Spanish population to the continent, and turned them into the hub of the Dutch slave trade between Africa and the Caribbean.
The first evidence of widespread use of
An outline of the competing theories is provided below.
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT THEORY
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There are various local development theories. One such theory
Papiamento developed in the Caribbean from an original
Portuguese-African pidgin used for communication between African
slaves and Portuguese slavetraders, with later Dutch and Spanish (and
even some Arawak) influences. Another theory is that
evolved from the use in this region since 1499 of 'lenguas' and the
first Repopulation of the ABC islands by the Spanish by the Cédula
real decreed in November 1525, in which Juan Martinez de Ampués,
factor of Española, had been granted the right to repopulate the
depopulated Islas inútiles of Oroba, Islas de los Gigantes and Buon
Aire (Columbus took ten natives back to Europe precisely so that they
could acquire knowledge of the
Judaeo-Portuguese population of the ABC islands increased
substantially after 1654, when the Portuguese recovered the Dutch-held
territories in Northeast Brazil – causing most of the
Portuguese-speaking Jews in those lands to flee from religious
persecution. The precise role of Sephardic Jews in the early
development is unclear, but it is certain that Jews play a prominent
role in the later development of Papiamento. Many early residents of
EUROPEAN AND AFRICAN ORIGIN THEORY
Peter Stuyvesant's appointment to the ABC islands followed his
service in Brazil. He brought Indians, soldiers, etc. from Brazil to
A more recent theory holds that the origins of Papiamento lie in the Afro-Portuguese creoles that arose almost a century earlier, in the west coast of Africa and in the Portuguese Cape Verde islands. From the 16th to the late 17th century, most of the slaves taken to the Caribbean came from Portuguese trading posts ("factories") in those regions. Around those ports there developed several Portuguese-African pidgins and creoles, such as Guinea-Bissau Creole , Mina , Cape Verdean Creole , Angolar , and Guene . The latter bears strong resemblances to Papiamento. According to this theory, Papiamento was derived from those pre-existing pidgins/creoles, especially Guene, which were brought to the ABC islands by slaves and/or traders from Cape Verde and West Africa.
Some specifically claim that the Afro-Portuguese mother language of Papiamento arose from a mixture of the Mina pidgin/creole (a mixture of Cape Verdean pidgin/creole with Twi ) and the Angolar creole (derived from languages of Angola and Congo ). Proponents of this theory of Papiamento contend that it can easily be compared and linked with other Portuguese creoles, especially the African ones (namely Forro , Guinea-Bissau Creole, and the Cape Verdean Creole). For instance, compare mi ("I" in Cape Verdean Creole and Papiamento) or bo (meaning you in both creoles). Mi is from the Portuguese mim (pronounced ) "me", and bo is from Portuguese vós "you". The use of "b" instead of "v" is very common in the African Portuguese Creoles (probably deriving from the pronunciation of Portuguese settlers in Africa, numerous from Northern Portugal ). However, because of the similarities between Portuguese and Spanish, it can also be argued that these two words derive from Spanish "mi" and "vos" (usually pronounced bos).
Papiamento is, in some degree, intelligible with Cape Verdean creoles and could be explained by the immigration of Portuguese Sephardic Jews from Cape Verde to these Caribbean islands, although this same fact could also be used by dissenters to explain a later Portuguese influence on an already existing Spanish-based creole.
Another comparison is the use of the verb ta and taba ta from vernacular Portuguese tá (an aphesis of estar, "to be" or está, "it is") with verbs where Portuguese does and with others where it does not use it: "Mi ta + verb" or "Mi taba ta + verb", also the rule in the São Vicente Creole and other Barlavento Cape Verdean Creoles . These issues can also be seen in other Portuguese Creoles (Martinus 1996; see also Fouse 2002 and McWhorter 2000), but some are also found in colloquial Spanish.
LINGUISTIC AND HISTORICAL TIES WITH UPPER GUINEA PORTUGUESE CREOLE
Current research on the origins of
Papiamento focuses specifically on
the linguistic and historical relationships between
Upper Guinea Portuguese Creole as spoken on the Santiago island of
Cape Verde and in Guinea-Bissau and Casamance. Elaborating on
comparisons done by Martinus (1996) and Quint (2000), Jacobs (2008,
2009a, 2009b ) defends the hypothesis that
Papiamento is a relexified
offshoot of an early Upper Guinea Portuguese Creole variety,
transferred from Senegambia to
Papiamento speakers are multilingual and are also able to speak
Dutch, English and Spanish.
Papiamento has been an official language
Venezuelan Spanish and
Papiamento has two main dialects, one in
Papiamento sounds much more like Spanish. The most
apparent difference between the two dialects is given away in the name
ENGLISH PAPIAMENTO PAPIAMENTU PORTUGUESE SPANISH
STICK Palo Palu Pau Palo
HOUSE Cas Kas Casa Casa
KNIFE Cuchiu Kuchu Faca Cuchillo
Main article: Papiamento orthography
There are two orthographies: a more phonetic one in
VOWELS AND DIPHTHONGS
Most Papiamento vowels are based on Ibero-Romance vowels, but some are also based on Dutch vowels like : EE /eː/, UI /œy/, IE /i/, OE /u/, IJ/EI /ɛi/, OO /oː/, and AA /aː/.
IPA CURAçAO ORTHOGRAPHY ARUBA ORTHOGRAPHY
a a in KANA a in CANA (= walk)
e e in SKER, NECHI e in SCHEUR (= to rip)
ɛ è in SKèR, NèCHI e in SKER (= scissors)
i i in CHIKí i in CHIKITO (= small)
o o in BONCHI, DOLó o in DOLOR (= pain)
ɔ ò in BòNCHI, DòLER o in DOLLAR (= currency)
u u in KUNUKU u in CUNUCU (= farm)
ø ù in BRùG u in BRUG (= bridge)
y ü in HüR uu in HUUR (= rent)
There are dialects that exist in the island itself. An example is the Aruban word, "dolor" ("pain"), which is the same in Curaçao's version, but written differently. The R is silent in certain parts of the island. It is also written without the R.
In addition to the vowels listed above, schwa also occurs in Papiamento. The letter e is pronounced as schwa in the final unstressed syllables of words such as agradabel and komader. Other vowels in unstressed syllables can become somewhat centralized (schwa-like) in rapid casual speech.
STRESS AND TONE
Polysyllabic words that end in vowels are stressed on the next-to-last syllable; most words ending in consonants are stressed on the final syllable. There are exceptions. When a word deviates from these rules, the stressed vowel should be indicated by an acute accent mark. The accent marks are often omitted in casual writing.
Papiamento words have distinct tone patterns. According to recent linguistic research, there are two classes of words: those that typically have rising pitch on the stressed syllable, and those that typically have falling pitch on the stressed syllable. The latter category includes most of the two-syllable verbs in the language. Any given word's tone contours may change depending on discursive factors such as whether the sentence is affirmative, interrogative, or imperative.
Altering tone in Papiamento can distinguish meaning and grammatical function: compare noun 'para' (PA-ra: bird) with verb 'para' (pa-RA:stand or stop)
Independently from tone, stress can also be altered: compare 'PA-ra' (stand or stop) with 'pa-RA\' (stopped or standing).
Papiamento/u uses prosodic accent . Tone (with stress) is largely dependent on the grammatical function of the word in sentence. Compare:
WORD (S) MEANING GRAMMATICAL FUNCTIONS STRESS PATTERN ACCENT PATTERN
kini-kini falcon noun substantive ki-ni-KI-ni kini-KI-ni (low-x-high-x)
blanku blanku "snowwhite" (emphatic doubling ) adjective BLAN-ku blan-ku BLAN-ku blanku (high-x-low-x)
palu haltu tree+high 'tall tree' noun substantive+adjective PA-lu hal-tu PA-lu haltu (high-x-low-x)
poko-poko slow/calm adverb PO-ko po-ko PO-ko poko (high-x-low-x)
bira ront turn+round (to) turn around verb +adverb bi-ra RONT bira RONT (low-x-high-x)
masha bon very+good adverb+adjective masha BON masha BON (low-x-high)
The following are the grammatical rules of Papiamento intonation:
-Verbs usually have rising tone ; a following adverb receives high intonation (ex. 'bira RONT:' turn around).
-Nouns (substantives) and adjectives usually have falling tone , a following adjective receives low intonation (ex. 'PA-lu haltu:' tall tree).
-In words of more than three syllables, grammatical tone or accent will fall on the last stressed syllable. The first stressed syllable receives the opposite tone for contrast: compare noun 'kini-kini' (kini-KI-ni): falcon with adverb 'poko-poko' (PO-ko-poko): slowly.
-An adverb has rising tone, so a following adjective receives high tone (ex. 'masha BON' very good).
!!! – The adverbs 'bon' (good) and 'mal' (bad), even though they are adjectives, in grammar will always have adverbial, rising tone character (ex. 'bon ha-SI:' well-done). They will always behave like adverbs, even when they qualify nouns (ex. 'bon DI-a:' good day). They behave like adverbs even when doubled for emphasis ('bon-BON:' very good).
(Note: in all above examples, primary stress remains on the second word, while secondary stress remains on the first word, independently of tone changes. It is thus more accurate to transcribe 'PA-lu HAL-tu' and 'bira RONT\', with BOLD TYPING indicating stress and CAPITAL LETTERS indicating high tone syllables. Unstressed syllables' tone is dependent on contact syllables.)
-The particle of negation 'no' always receives rising tone: the following verb is inevitably raised in pitch: compare 'mi ta PA-pia' (I speak) and 'mi no TA PA-pia' (I do not speak). This negating pitch-raise is crucial and is retained even after contraction of the particle in informal speech: 'mi'n TA papia' ("I don't speak")
It is theorized that the unusual presence of both stress and tone in Papiamento is an inheritance of African languages (which use tone) and Portuguese (which has stress)
Most of the vocabulary is derived from Spanish and Portuguese and most of the time the real origin is unknown due to the great similarity between the two Iberian languages and the adaptations required by Papiamento. A 100-Swadesh List of Papiamento can be found online. Linguistic studies have shown that roughly two thirds of the words in Papiamento's present vocabulary are of Iberian origin, a quarter are of Dutch origin, some of Native American origin, and the rest come from other tongues. A recent study by Buurt Portuguese, senhora; * kuá? = which? Spanish, ¿Cuál?; Portuguese, Qual?; * Kuantu? = how much? – Spanish, ¿Cuánto?; Portuguese, Quanto?;
While the presence of word-final /u/ can easily be traced to Portuguese, the diphthongization of some vowels is characteristic of Spanish. The use of /b/ (rather than /v/) is difficult to interpret; although the two are separate phonemes in standard Portuguese, they merge in the dialects of northern Portugal, just like they do in Spanish . Also, a sound-shift could have occurred in the direction of Spanish, whose influence on Papiamento came later than that of Portuguese.
Other words can have dual origin, and certainly dual influence. For instance: subrino (nephew): sobrinho in Portuguese, sobrino in Spanish. The pronunciation of "o" as /u/ is traceable to Portuguese, while the use of "n" instead of "nh" (IPA /ɲ/) in the ending "-no", relates to Spanish.
Portuguese origin words:
* barbulètè = butterfly – Portuguese, borboleta; * sapatu = shoe – Spanish, zapato; Portuguese, sapato; * kachó = dog – Spanish, cachorro (puppy); Portuguese, cachorro (dog or puppy); * bisiña = neighbour – Spanish, vecino, vecina; Portuguese, vizinho, vizinha; * galiña = chicken (hen) – Spanish, gallina; Portuguese, galinha; * gai = rooster – Spanish, gallo; Portuguese, galo
Spanish origin words:
* siudat (siudatnan) = city – Spanish, ciudad; Portuguese, cidade * sombre/sinkuri = hat – Spanish, sombrero; Portuguese, chapéu * karson = trousers – Spanish, pantalón or calzón; Portuguese, calção * hòmber = man – Spanish, hombre; Portuguese, homem
Dutch origin words:
* apel = apple – Dutch, appel * blou = blue – Dutch, blauw * buki = book – Dutch, boek * lesa = to read – Dutch, lezen
English origin words;
* bèk = back * bòter = bottle
Italian origin words:
* kushina = kitchen – Italian cucina; Spanish cocina; Portuguese cozinha * lanterna/latern = lantern – Italian lanterna; Spanish linterna; Portuguese, lanterna
Native American words:
* orkan = hurricane – Taino, hurakan; Carib, yuracan, hyoracan; Dutch, orkaan
* "GUIA para los españoles hablar papiamento y viceversa: Para que los de Curazao puedan hablar espanol … (1876)
Author: N. N.; Publisher: Impr. del Comercio; Year: 1876 Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT; Language: Spanish Digitizing sponsor: Google Book from the collections of: Harvard University Collection: americana Notes: Cover-title: Guia-manual para que los españoles puedan hablar y comprender el papiamento ó patois de Curazao y vice-versa …
* Gerrit P Jansen en de Bastiaan Gaay Fortman, Diccionario Papiamento-Holandes, Curaçaosch Genootschap der Wetenschappen, 1945 * Mansur, Jossy M. (1991) Dictionary English-Papiamento Papiamento-English. Oranjestad: Edicionnan Clasico Diario * Tip Marugg Dikshonario Erotiko; a dictionary of all words with an erotic meaning used in Papiamento. * Betty Ratzlaff (2008) Papiamento-Ingles, Dikshonario Bilingual e di dos edishon. Bonaire: St. Jong Bonaire * Websters online Papiamento – English Dictionary
* E. R. Goilo (2000) Papiamento Textbook. Oranjestad: De Wit Stores N.V.
* Hopi scuma, tiki chuculati ("A lot of foam, little chocolate"): too good to be true. * Eynan e porco su rabo ta krul ("That is where the pig's tail curls"): that is where the problem lies. * Sopi pura ta sali salo ("Quick soup turns salty"): good things take time.
* Kon ta bai? or Kon ta k'e bida?: "How are you?" or "How is life?", Portuguese, Como vai?/Como está a vida?, Spanish ¿Cómo te va? ¿Cómo te va la vida? * Por fabor/ Sea asina di: "Please" Portuguese/Spanish por favor * Danki: "Thank you" Dutch, Dank je * Ainda no: "Not yet" Portuguese Ainda não * Mi (ta) stima bo: "I love you" Portuguese Eu (te) estimo (você) / Eu te amo * Laga nos ban sali!/ban sali: "Let's go out!", Spanish ¡Salgamos! * Kòrda skirbi mi bèk mas lihé posibel!: "Remember to write me back as soon as possible!" Portuguese: Recorde-se de me escrever assim que for possível. * Bo mama ta mashá bunita: "Your mother is very beautiful" Portuguese Tua/Sua mãe é muito bonita.
COMPARISON OF VOCABULARIES
This section provides a comparison of the vocabularies of Portuguese, Papiamento and the Portuguese creoles of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. Spanish and Catalan are also shown for contrast.
ENGLISH PORTUGUESE BONAIRE AND CURAçAO ARUBA GUINEA-BISSAU CAPE VERDEAN * ** SPANISH CATALAN
Welcome Bem-vindo Bon biní Bon Bini Bô bim drito Bem-vindo*** Bienvenido Benvingut
Good morning Bom dia Bon dia Bon dia Bon dia Bon dia Buenos días Bon dia
Thank you Obrigado / Obrigada Danki Danki Obrigadu Obrigadu Gracias Gràcies
How are you? Como vais / vai? Como está? Como estás? Kon ta bai? Con ta bay? Kumá ku bo na bai? Kumo bu sta? ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo te va? Com et va?
Very good Muito bom Mashá bon Masha bon Mutu bon Mutu bon Muy bueno, Muy bien Molt bé
I am fine Eu estou bem/(bom) Mi ta bon Mi ta bon N' sta bon N sta bon (Yo) Estoy bien (Jo) Estic bé
I, I am Eu, eu sou Mi, Mi ta Ami ta, Mi ta N', Mi i N, Mi e Yo, yo soy Jo, jo sóc
Have a nice day Passa/Passe/Tenha um bom dia Pasa un bon dia Pasa un bon dia Pasa un bon dia Pasa un bon dia Pasa/Pase/Tenga un buen día Passa un bon dia
See you later Até logo / Até depois Te aweró/ Te despues Te aworo, Te despues N' ta odjá-u dipus N ta odjâ-u dipôs, Te lógu Te veo después/ Hasta luego Et veig després
Food Comida / Vianda Kuminda Cuminda Bianda Kumida Comida Menjar
Bread Pão Pan Pan Pon Pon Pan Pa
Juice Sumo (not common in Brazil) / Suco Djus Juice Sumu Sumu Zumo (common in Spain) / Jugo (common in Latin America) Suc
I like Curaçao Eu gosto de Curaçao Mi gusta Kòrsou Mi gusta Corsou, Mi gusta Korsou N' gosta di Curaçao N gosta di Curaçao Me gusta Curazao M'agrada Curaçao
* ^ A B C
Papiamento can be used in relations with the Dutch
"Invoeringswet openbare lichamen Bonaire,
Sint Eustatius en Saba" (in
Dutch). wetten.nl. Retrieved 2011-01-01. * ^ Hammarström, Harald;
Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016).
Glottolog 2.7 . Jena: Max Planck Institute for the
Science of Human History.
* ^ Wells, John C. (2008), Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd
ed.), Longman, ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0
* ^ Jacobs, Bart (2012-03-23). "The Upper Guinea origins of
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München .
* ^ Romero, Simon (2010-07-05). "Willemstad Journal: A Language
Thrives in Its Caribbean Home".
The New York Times
* Eva Eckkrammer: How to Pave the Way for the Emancipation of a
Creole Language. Papiamento, or What Can a Literature Do for its
Language. In: Hoogbergen, Wim (ed.). Born Out of Resistance. On
Caribbean Cultural Creativity. Utrecht: Isor-Publications, 1994,
* Eva Eckkrammer: The Standardisation of Papiamento: New Trends,
Problems and Perspectives. In: Dazzi Gross, Anna-Alice / Lorenza
Mondada (eds.). Les langues minoritaires en contexte.
Minderheitensprachen im Kontext. Bd. I. Les langues minoritaires entre
diversité et standardisation. Minderheitensprachen zwischen Vielfalt
und Standardisierung. Neuchâtel: Institut de linguistique de
l´Université de Neuchâtel (= Bulletin suisse de linguistique
appliquée 69/1), 1999, 59–74.
* Eva Eckkrammer: Papiamento, Cultural Resistance, and
Socio-Cultural Challenges: The ABC Islands in a Nutshell. In: Journal
of Caribbean Literatures 5/1, 2007, 73–93.
* Quint, Nicolas. 2000. Le Cap-Verdien: Origines et devenir d’une
langue métisse. Paris: L’Harmattan
* Jacobs, Bart. 2008. "Papiamento: A diachronic analysis of its core
morphology". Phrasis 2008 (2), 59–82.
* Jacobs, Bart. 2009a. “The Upper Guinea origins of Papiamento.
Linguistic and historical evidence”. Diachronica 26:3, 319–379.
* Jacobs, Bart. 2009b. "The origins of Old Portuguese features in
Papiamento". In: Nicholas Faraclas, Ronald Severing, Christa Weijer &
Liesbeth Echteld (eds.), Leeward voices: Fresh perspectives on
Papiamento and the literatures and cultures of the ABC Islands. Volume
1, 11–38. Curaçao: FPI/UNA.
* Jacobs, Bart. 2012. Origins of a creole: The history of Papiamento
and its African ties. Berlin: de Gruyter.
* Efraim Frank Martinus (1996) The Kiss of a Slave: Papiamento's
West-African Connections. University of Amsterdam Press.
* Gary Fouse (2002) The Story of Papiamento. New York: University
Press of America
* John H. Holm (1989) Pidgins and Creoles Volume One. Theory and
Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
* Sidney Joubert & Matthias Perl (2007). "The Portuguese
* t * e
Languages of the
OFFICIAL NATIONAL LANGUAGE
OFFICIAL REGIONAL LANGUAGES
* West Frisian * English * Papiamento
NON-OFFICIAL REGIONAL LANGUAGES/DIALECTS
* Limburgish * Low Saxon * Romani * Yiddish
* Dutch Sign
* v * t * e
Portuguese-based creole languages
* Angolar * Annobonese * Cafundó * Forro * Principense
* Mardijker or Papiá Tugu (extinct) * Bidau Portuguese (extinct) * Papiá Kristang * Portugis (extinct)
Creoles with strong Portuguese lexical influence
* Bozal Spanish * Saramaccan
* v * t * e
Varieties of Spanish by continent
* Canarian * Equatoguinean
Americas (Pan-American )
* Cuban * Dominican * Puerto Rican
* Belizean * Costa Rican * Guatemalan * Honduran * Nicaraguan * Pachuco * Panamanian * Salvadoran
* Caló (Chicano) * New Mexican * Puerto Rican * Isleño
* Amazonic * Andean * Bolivian * Chilean
* Chiloé Archipelago
* Central Argentina
* Central western Argentina
* Coastal Ecuador
* Los Llanos Colombia/Venezuela
* Zulia State
* Paisa Region
* Paraguayan * Peruvian
* Coastal Peru
* Coastal Argentina * Uruguayan
Europe (Peninsular )
* Coastal Argentina, Uruguay