Papiamentu

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A language of Curacao

Alternate Names
Curassese, Curaçoleño, Papiamen, Papiamento, Papiamentoe
Autonym
Papiamentu
Population

135,000 in Curacao, all users. 115,000 (2011 SIL). 20,000. Total users in all countries: 339,870 (as L1: 319,870; as L2: 20,000).

Location

Widespread.

Language Status

1 (National). De facto national language.

Dialects

None known. Becoming more like Spanish [spa], which is prestigious. Papiamentu is genetically related to Kabuverdianu [kea] and Crioulo (Guinea-Bissau) [pov] (Jacobs 2009).

Typology

Maximum number of prefixes, 2; word order distinguishes subjects, objects, indirect objects; affixes indicate case of noun phrases; verb affixes mark person, number, gender of subject, object, other noun phrase—not obligatory; passives; causatives; comparatives; CVC.

Language Use

Importance varies by island. Use of both Papiamentu and Dutch [nld] not considered an indication of lack of education. Dutch use fosters social and political mobility. All domains. All ages. Also use Dutch [nld], English [eng], Spanish [spa].

Language Development
First 2 years of primary school. Newspapers. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible: 1997.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian.

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