The Conjugation in Papiamentu – a deeply-rooted African Heritage in a Hispanic Creole language

Maya Choghari


Papiamento, a creole language spoken by approximately 200,000 people on three Caribbean islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao earned an official status at the beginning of the 21st century besides Dutch. Due to historical  easons and thanks to a unique mixture of people of different origins living together on a small island, a pidgin language was born.  hroughout the years and as a language of the slaves, it has evolved into a creole language. Overall, this language contains traces of the ancestral Arawak language, influences of African languages, of Portuguese, French, English, Galician, but mostly of Dutch and Spanish. The biggest part of  apiamento’s vocabulary and grammar is derived from Iberian languages, especially from Spanish, but also from Dutch, however the paradigms are the category that is least influenced by these.This article’s main objective is to portray Papiamento’s conjugation system of African heritage, which is accompanied by examples from folkloric stories of the smart spider Kompa Nanzi.


Papiamento, history, conjugation, tense analysis, Kompa Nanzi



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Copyright (c) 2016 Maya Choghari

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Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
(Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani) 

Print ISSN: 1855-8453
Online ISSN: 2350-4269