A History of Afro-Hispanic Language: Five Centuries, Five by John M. Lipski

By John M. Lipski

The African slave exchange introduced African languages into touch with Spanish and Portuguese starting within the 15th century, and led to the Africans' sluggish acquisition of those languages. John Lipski describes the main varieties of Afro-Hispanic language present in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin the United States during the last 500 years. keeping apart valid kinds of Afro-Hispanic expression from those who consequence from racist stereotyping, he exhibits how touch with the African diaspora has had an everlasting impression on Spanish this day.

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Within Africa, slaves were normally acquired either from geographically adjacent regions, or by established trade mechanisms that predictably yielded members of known ethnic groups. Thus communication among slaves, and between slaves and free community members, was usually facilitated. Cultural practices could be similar or identical among slaves and slave owners. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, within Africa slaves were not held as chattels, to be bought, sold, and bequeathed without the slightest personal consideration.

28 What is less well known is that all the Portuguese Asian enclaves, from northwestern India to Macao, Malaysia, and Indonesia, contained significant numbers of black Africans throughout their history. Moreover, there were complex trade routes among these colonies and Portuguese-controlled areas of southeastern Africa and even with Portugal, thus setting the scene for an extraordinarily complex network of linguistic cross-fertilization which ultimately requires that all Ibero-Romance based creoles be examined as part of an all-encompassing matrix of language contact and transfer.

13). Africans in the Iberian peninsula 23 had amassed spectacular wealth, and ostentatious display of this wealth occurred on more than one occasion. For example, in 1324, Mansa Musa, the Islamic ruler of the Kingdom of Mali, made a pilgrimage to Mecca. He took with him a retinue of some 60,000 individuals, including 500 men each carrying a gold staff. Some 27,000 pounds of gold dust were taken along to defray expenses. 16 The Portuguese, through the invention of the caravelle and the development of advanced seafaring prowess, were the first European nation to directly probe for the sources of African gold by sea, and the voyages of exploration meant to secure wealth for European merchants had unforeseen consequences for Afro-Iberian relations.

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