Maskin, maski, masque… in the Spanish and Portuguese creoles of Asia

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While much of the scholarship on the subject of Ibero-Asian pidgins and creoles does contain some mention of the maski/maskin/masque particle, so far no detailed study has been made of the contrasting uses of the form in the different varieties. The prevailing wisdom holds that the particle originated solely from Portuguese mas que, based on the mistaken belief that the same construction in Spanish had no concessive value. In this paper, we will examine the significant variations in the meaning of this particle in the different Portuguese and Spanish creole languages of Asia. Building on that analysis, we will challenge the notion of a common Portuguese origin and show instead how the differences in meaning between Spanish-Philippine creoles and the other varieties in the region came about as a result of the contact that took place between Spanish and the indigenous languages of the Philippines.


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