Afro-Yungueño speech: The long-lost "black Spanish"

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Abstract

The pidginized Spanish learned by millions of Africans in Latin America had a profound but as yet underexplored impact on the formation of Spanish American dialects. Literary imitations from previous centuries are questionable, and few vestiges of actual Afro-Hispanic language remain. This paper reports on a unique Afro-American speech community in highland Bolivia, possibly the oldest surviving Afro-American variety of any language. The Afro-Yungueño dialect, now spoken in contact with regional Andean Spanish, differs systematically from any other Spanish dialect, and provides empirical evidence of the earliest stages of Afro-Hispanic language in the Americas. It also provides key evidence in the debate surrounding the possible creolization of Spanish and Portuguese in other Afro-American contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-43
Number of pages43
JournalSpanish in Context
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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