Date: 19-Jan-2007 From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de> Subject: A Morphosyntactic Analysis of Surinamese Dutch as Spoken by the Creole Population of Paramaribo, Suriname: De Kleine
Title: A Morphosyntactic Analysis of Surinamese Dutch as Spoken by the Creole Population of Paramaribo, Suriname
Series Title: Lincom Studies in Pidgin & Creole Linguistics 08
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Author: Christa De Kleine
Paperback: ISBN: 9783895863882 Pages: 198 Price: Europe EURO 66.00
While several languages spoken in Suriname (South America) have received a great deal of attention in the linguistics literature, including various creole languages such as Sranan and Saramaccan, the amount of information available on Suriname's official language, Dutch, is remarkably limited. This lacuna is rooted in the widely-held assumption that Dutch in Suriname has remained relatively similar to its European ancestor throughout its 300-year history in the former colony. The present study proves this assumption fundamentally false, by providing a detailed analysis of the morphosyntactic characteristics that set Surinamese Dutch apart from European Dutch. Focusing on Dutch as spoken by one of the main ethnic groups, the descendants of the African slave population (the 'Creoles'), this study establishes Surinamese Dutch as a language variety in its own right, a variety that is furthermore heavily influenced by Sranan, the English-based creole language widely spoken in Suriname. One of the most important findings of the study is that the majority of distinguishing morphosyntactic characteristics located in Surinamese Dutch concern forms that are also found in European Dutch but which have assumed new functions in Surinamese Dutch, resulting in a phenomenon identified as grammatical camouflage. Extensive grammatical camouflage then explains to a large extent why numerous differences between Surinamese Dutch and European Dutch have gone undetected until now.