Journal of Ibero-Romance Creoles

Volume 9 (2019)

Cape Verdean Creole – Santo Antão: what we know so far

Dominika Swolkien (Universidade de Cabo Verde) & Alexander Cobbinah (Universidade de São Paulo)

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The Santo Antão variety (SA) of Cape Verdean Creole (CVC) is not only very little studied but the existing publications, overwhelmingly in Portuguese, are not well known among a wider linguistic audience. This is

particularly surprising if we consider that from the first Cape Verdean census, in 1731 (Carreira 1984), until the 1970s Santo Antão has been the second most populous island of the archipelago. The article presents a review of the literature from historical sources about the settlement of Santo Antão, which then serves as a base from which to reconsider current debates about the genesis of CVC. Linguistic data, mainly of phonological nature, from conversations recorded during a short field trip to Santo Antão (Cabo da Ribeira and Vila das Pombas), complemented by existing data on other varieties of CVC, are used to support the proposed hypotheses.

Keywords: Cape Verdean Creole, Santo Antão variety, sociolinguistic history, phonology, language description