Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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This paper focuses on the two most distinct varieties of Cape Verdean Creole spoken on the islands of Santiago and São Vicente. These two varieties are consistently viewed as being in opposition to each other on historical, linguistic, political and cultural grounds. This paper examines the historical and linguistic aspects of this particular case. Historically, the island of Santiago was settled in 1461 and the island of São Vicente most likely around 1894 (Andrade, 1996), more than 400 years later. Linguistically, for the past 120 years (Brito, 1888), these two varieties have been traditionally described as being at opposite sides of the creole continuum, the Santiago variety, the oldest of the two, being portrayed as basilectal and the São Vicente variety, of more recent origins, as acrolectal. Focusing on the Tense Mood Aspect markers of these two varieties, the synchronic examination highlights their similarities and differences. The diachronic analysis explores the etymological origins of these forms and the developmental process that they have undergone and reveals that the traces of the founding languages may still be readily detectable in the Santiago variety. Finally, our findings invite us to revisit how these two varieties have been characterized for the past 120 years as being representative of a basilect (Santiago) and an acrolect (São Vicente) on the creole continuum. We show that such a characterization should be much more nuanced.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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