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Share Paper 1139

Mainland Spanish Colonies and Creole Genesis: The Afro-Venezuelan Area Revisited
Manuel Díaz-Campos and J. Clancy Clements
41-53 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


McWhorter (2000:38) challenges the validity of the limited access model for Creole genesis, noting that "the mainland Spanish colonies put in question a model which is crucial to current Creole genesis." His thesis is that in the Spanish mainland colonies the disproportion between the black and white populations was enough for the emergence of a Creole language in these areas. In this paper, we focus specifically on one colony, Venezuela. We present sociohistorical and linguistic evidence that indicate that blacks had as much or more access to Spanish in Venezuela as they did on islands such as Cuba. The Spanish Crown's monopolization of the Spanish slave trade kept the black-white ratio relatively low in all Spanish colonies until the end of the 18th century. This is a part of the puzzle that has been absent in the discussion of the missing Spanish Creoles.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Lotfi Sayahi and Maurice Westmoreland
Table of contents
Printed edition: $180.00