Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870



This study investigates the language situation in Aruba, a Caribbean island that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The main home language in Aruba is Papiamento, a Spanish/Portuguese lexifier creole, but Dutch was the only official language for centuries. English and Spanish are also widely used due to immigration, tourism, and the media.

Carroll (200920102015) observes that Papiamento has high vitality, but also signals that speakers think that the language is under threat due to the increase in the use of English and Spanish. The aim of this study is to examine to what extent Carroll’s findings may be corroborated by a quantitative survey that accessed the views of a large group of people (809) from all over the island. The results indicate that Papiamento is the most frequently cited language regardless of backgrounds. People hold positive attitudes toward Papiamento and Aruban identity. Hence, our findings corroborate Carroll’s hypothesis that sentiments of language threat are mostly based in perception rather than in actual language use and attitudes.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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