Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870



This article examines Santomeans’ attitudes toward Angolares, a minority creole-speaking community descendant of maroons on São Tomé Island, and their language. The status of Angolar varies from vigorous to shifting, depending on the source, and according to Maurer (2013), it is unclear whether Angolar is being passed on to new generations. In this article, it is argued that Angolares are shifting toward Portuguese, a process that has already commenced among Santomeans living in the capital. Since prevailing attitudes regarding a language are important for its use and maintenance, this study investigates the transmission of attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes as a possible explanation for the actual shift toward Portuguese in the country. Based on ethnography, analysis of interview excerpts, and questionnaires, an account of the attitudes held by Santomeans is provided, showing how different attitudes toward Angolares are intertwined and point toward rural, creole-speaking Angolares as being the lowest on the social scale of the island. This article demonstrates how attitudes held by Forros, the dominant ethnolinguistic group on São Tomé Island, as well as by Angolares themselves, may negatively impact the maintenance of Angolar Creole.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Angolar Creole; Angolares; language attitudes; language endangerment; São Tomé Island
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