Substrate influences in Mindanao Chabacano

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Mindanao Chabacano (henceforth MC), a cluster of varieties of Philippine Creole Spanish with almost 600,000 speakers recorded in the 2000 Philippines census, is rather unusual among creole languages because it has been in constant contact both with its chief lexifier Spanish, and with the languages which most strongly shaped it typologically, the Central Philippine languages, for most of the 300 or so years it is generally assumed to have existed. In this paper, I look at some substrate influences on MC, especially on the more widely spoken variety Zamboangueño (hereafter Zam). I also ask what is meant by “substrate” and “superstrate”, what the potential substrate languages of MC have been, and what it means for a creole language to be in contact with some of its component languages since its inception. As the history of MC raises questions about what can be regarded as a substrate, I explore the known and surmised history of the creole too.


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