1887
Volume 32, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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Abstract

The origins of the Afro-Hispanic Languages of the Americas (AHLAs), the languages that developed in Latin America from the contact of African languages and Spanish in colonial times, are extremely intriguing, since it still has to be explained why we do not find creole languages in certain regions of Spanish America, where the socio-demographic conditions for creole languages to emerge appear to have been in place in colonial times. Nowadays, in contrast, we can find such contact varieties in similar former colonies, which were ruled by the British, the French or the Dutch ( McWhorter 2000 ). Despite the fascinating implications of this phenomenon, our knowledge of the AHLAs remains extremely limited. Several hypotheses have been proposed to account for this situation, but no common consensus has yet been achieved ( Chaudenson 2001 ; Mintz 1971 ; Laurence 1974 ; Granda 1968 ; Schwegler 1993 , 2014 ; Lipski 1993 ; etc.). The pull of different views on the issue has been labelled in the literature as the ‘Spanish creole debate’ ( Lipski 2005 : ch.9).

The current study is aimed at casting new light on the Spanish creole debate by relying on a comparative analysis of slave laws in the Americas. This article highlights the role that legal differences played in shaping colonial societies and the Afro-European languages that developed in the New World.

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2017-06-17
2019-11-15
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Legal Hypothesis of Creole Genesis , Legal Personality and Spanish Creoles
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