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Language and Development in Africa

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Academic Paper


Title: John Lipski, A history of Afro-Hispanic language: Five centuries, five continents
Author: J. Clancy Clements
Institution: Indiana University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject LANGUAGE Family: Creole
Abstract: John Lipski, A history of Afro-Hispanic language: Five centuries, five continents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. x, 363. Hb.

In the most comprehensive volume to date, John Lipski, one of the top scholars on Afro-Hispanic language varieties, traces the history of African–Iberian linguistic contact from its origins with the importation of black African slaves to Portugal and Spain to the
present-day situation of these varieties. The book can be divided into two parts: chapters 1-5 contain the introduction and a detailed review of the data, while chapters 6-9 examine how the data bear on the likelihood of the independent formation of a Spanish-based creole in the Caribbean. In chapter 1 Lipski details the first significant
African–Iberian contacts, with sections on the different phases of colonization and slavery, tracing the Portuguese expansion in Africa and Asia, the role of the Spanish, the ascent of Dutch and English in the colonization scene, and the slave trade. He focuses on African slavery in South America, noting that there were fewer blacks than whites until the 19th century, when the big plantations came into their own. At this time, we find a disproportionate number of blacks to whites in some areas of the Caribbean and Latin America.

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This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 36, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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