Introduction Location: Spoken Along the Berbice River, Canje River and Wiruni Creek in Guyana # of Speakers: 4 or 5 (youngest born in 1923) Lexifier: Dutch Substrate: Eastern Ijo (Niger-Kongo, Nigeria). Arawak and Guyanese Creole English borrowings.
Language Structure: Syntax Primarily SVO Word Order Interesting Features –Reduplication (nouns, verbs and adjectives) –Negation –Tense/Mood/Aspect
Verb Reduplication (Kouwenberg, 2003) Semantic Reading Kk k furgt-furgt-t beki Like 1s forget-forget-PF little “[It is] as if I have forgotten [this language] bit by bit” Deverbalization Titi di man bin deki-t di lapu-lapu O mabaku o stadi Time the man PAST take-PF the cuff-cuff 3s beat 3s stead7\ “If the man had taken the cuffing, she would have beaten him all the time”
Noun and Adj. Reduplication Noun Ju haftu pi eni kiba-kiba 2s have to give 3pl piece-piece “You have to give them each a piece” Adjective Di man-toko masi nili pote-pote mere as eke The man-child must nearly old-old more than 1s “The boy must be nearly older than me”
Tense/Aspect BD employs a combination of pre- and post-verbal tense and aspect markers. Pre-verbalPost-verbal Wa, ma/saa, te en wa bifi mete ju dangSienSi mo-te mu plandi e fama They PAST speak with you herewe go-PF go plant it COMP “They spoke with you here “We haven’t finished planting”
Phonology Some Phonological Processes –General Prohibition of Closed Syllables, except nasals Strom “stream,” furstan “understand” –But some consonant clusters in polysyllabic words. BD: alma Dutch: allemaal BD: hagli Dutch: hagel
Phonological Processes from Dutch to BD Vowel Insertion –Dutch: dan, BD: dana “then” –Dutch: diep BD: dipu “deep” Metathesis –Dutch: aardappel, BD: adaplu “potato” –Dutch: overal, BD: oflaru “everywhere”
Competing Theories of Origin –Trading jargon developed in Africa before slaves Guyana –Ethnic Homogeneity among slaves in Guyana –BD actually descended from Ijo, relexified –Ijo Replaced by BD with Dutch as catalyst
Substrate Influence: Negation Negation usually occurs sentence finally, as in Ijo –Yu nimi dida kane You know that NEG “You don’t know that”
Substrate Influence: Postpositions While Berbice is strictly SVO, like Ijo, its substrate, it has postpositions –di banka bofu Berbice the bench on “On the bench –I wari suku bio Ijo My house underneath inside “Under my house”
Substrate Influence: Morphology Some Morphemes Link Directly to Ijo –Noun Phrase Morphology Plural MarkerBD: -apu, Ijo: -apu –Aspect ContinuativeBD: -a; Ijo: -ari PerfectiveBD: -te; Ijo: -tee
Bibliography Kouwenberg, Sylvia. 1995. “Berbice Dutch.” in Arends, Jacques (ed.) Muysken, Pieter (ed.) Smith, Norval (ed.).. Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction.. Creole Language Library. 15. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Robertson, Ian E. 1990. “The Tense-Mood-Aspect System of Berbice Dutch”. Singler, John Victor (ed.).. Pidgin and Creole Tense-Mood- Aspect Systems. Creole Language Library. 6. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1990 Singh, Rajendra and Pieter Muysken. 1995. “Wanted: A Debate in Pidgin/Creole Phonology.” Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 10:1 Smith, Norval S. H. and Robertson, Ian E. and Williamson, Kay. 1987. “The Ijo Element in Berbice Dutch”. Language in Society, 16:1
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