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.