On the southern tip of the Saurashtra peninsula of Gujarat (India) and commanding a strategic lookout over the Arabian sea, the small island of Diu has aroused seemingly disproportionate colonial interests throughout its history. Among the various effects of its long domination by faraway Portugal (1535-1961) was the formation of a local variety of Indo-Portuguese, a contact language resulting from the encounter of various linguistic influences, chief among which are Gujarati and Portuguese. Although the Portuguese-lexified creoles of Asia have deserved scholarly attention from the late 19th-century, the trend towards accurate linguistic description of these languages is a recent one.
This study provides a linguistic account of present-day Diu Indo-Portuguese, duly embedded in its reconstructed historical and sociodemographic context, with the intention to contribute to our burgeoning understanding of the formation, development and present vitality of the contact languages of (South) Asia and elsewhere.
This study is particularly relevant to linguists interested in language history and change, Indic and Romance languages, the workings of language contact, creole studies, language maintenance and endangerment, and typology. In addition, it may also be of interest for anthropologists and historians dealing with South Asia and the colonial history of India.