The formation of the Portuguese-based Creoles: Gradual or abrupt?
Some years ago, Arends pointed out that little was known about the gradual development – or otherwise – of the Portuguese-based Creoles, despite the existence of some early texts. The situation has changed very little, and this article attempts to redress the balance by examining both the linguistic evidence through early texts, as listed in the appendix, and the available socio-historical data. For most of the Portuguese-based Creoles, early linguistic evidence is lacking, and any assessment of the gradual nature of the Creoles’ development must be made largely through the historical data. The tentative conclusions drawn are that development was not gradual, particularly because nativisation took place early on, and there was no extended period of imports to renew the slave population, which would have had linguistic consequences, as is the case with the Indian Ocean French-based Creoles, for example.