Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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Chota Valley Spanish (CVS) is an Afro-Hispanic dialect spoken in the provinces of Imbabura and Carchi, Ecuador. The structure of CVS is relatively similar to Spanish, even though the conditions that characterized colonial Chota Valley seem — at a first glance — to have been ideal for a creole language to develop: a low white/black ratio, harsh working conditions on sugarcane plantations, massive introduction of African-born workers, and minimal contact with the outside Spanish speaking world (Schwegler 1999: 240; McWhorter 2000: 10–11). Two main hypotheses have been proposed to account for this fact: (a) the Monogenesis Hypothesis (Schwegler 1999); (b) the Afrogenesis Hypothesis (McWhorter 2000).In the present paper, the linguistic and sociohistorical evidence available for CVS is analyzed. Findings indicate that the long assumed creolizing conditions for CVS were not in place in colonial Chota Valley and therefore hypotheses (a) and (b) do not accurately explain the true nature and evolution of this language. The present study suggests that CVS can be better analyzed as the result of intermediate and advanced second language acquisition processes, which do not imply a previous creole stage.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Chota Valley Spanish; creole genesis; decreolization; missing creoles; monogenesis
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