Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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This study presents the most comprehensive inventory of lexical similarities between Chabacano and Luso-Asian creoles to date. Certain formal similarities, especially regarding function words, have not gone unnoticed in the past, but for the most part have been treated as coincidences. Less attention has been paid to cases of parallel formal and semantic innovation involving content words. Taken together, these data suggest a non-coincidental lexical component shared between Luso-Asian creoles and the multi-directional propagation of features across Ibero-Asian creoles. This notion is further supported if we consider the well-known cultural, commercial and demographic connections between the Philippines and the Portuguese colonies in Asia. At the individual level, discarding a Spanish etymology in favor of a Portuguese one is a very problematic endeavor that often leads to inconclusiveness. However, we argue that the sheer number of shared retentions and innovations presented in this study can only be accounted for by factoring in some degree of language contact. Luso-Asian elements must have seeped into Chabacano at the time of its genesis and at later stages.


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Keyword(s): Chabacano; Ibero-Asian creoles; lusitanisms; Luso-Asian creoles; Portuguese element
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