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Research Paper

The origin and originality of passivization in Papiamentu


Bart Jacobs

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institut für Romanische Philologie, Ludwigstr. 25, 80539 München
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This paper is concerned with the diachrony of passivization in Papiamentu. While it is generally held in the literature that passivization in Papiamentu is a non-native 19th century borrowing from Dutch and Spanish, this paper argues that it is in fact an original, native feature of the Papiamentu grammar. With that purpose, the use of auxiliary-less passives in Early (19th / early 20th century) Papiamentu texts is illustrated and analyzed in detail. In addition, synchronic evidence will be adduced. This paper furthermore argues that Papiamentu inherited its passive morphology from proto-Upper Guinea Portuguese Creole. To bolster that claim, the auxiliary-less passives found in Early Papiamentu texts will be systematically compared with passivization patterns found in Upper Guinea Portuguese Creole.
How to Cite: Jacobs, B. (2011). The origin and originality of passivization in Papiamentu. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 10(2), 31–56. DOI:
Published on 31 Dec 2011.
Peer Reviewed


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