Ethnologue: Areas: Americas

Puerto Rico

3,958,000 (1995). Self governing part of USA. Literacy rate 89% to 90%. Also includes Chinese 2,000, Ladino, North Levantine Arabic, South Levantine Arabic, Yiddish. Christian, secular, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Bahai. Deaf population 8,000 to 40,000 (1986 Gallaudet University). Deaf institutions: 5. Data accuracy estimate: A2. The number of languages listed for Puerto Rico is 4.

DUTCH CREOLE (NEGERHOLLANDS) [DCR] A few speakers left (1986 Carrier Pidgin). Also in U.S. Virgin Islands. Creole, Dutch based. NT 1781-1833. Nearly extinct.

ENGLISH [ENG] 82,000 mother tongue speakers (1995); 376,371 second language speakers in Puerto Rico (1970 census); 322,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English. National language. Bible 1535-1989. NT 1525-1985. Bible portions 1530-1987.

PUERTO RICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (PRSL) [PSL] (8,000 to 40,000 deaf persons; 1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Deaf sign language. Related to American Sign Language but distinct. Signs were introduced in 1907 by nuns. 4 varieties are used: Signed Spanish as a pidgin with hearing Spanish speakers, Signed English as a pidgin with deaf educated in USA and with hearing English speakers, American Sign Language with those who know only that, and PRSL. Some know only PRSL. Some home signs are also used.

SPANISH [SPN] 2,690,000 speakers in Puerto Rico (1995); 266,000,000 in all countries (1987 Time). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. Some dialects are considered to be archaic. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1986. Bible portions 1514-1985.

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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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