- Jon-And, Anna, et al.
Contact, variation and change in Angolan Portuguese : the case of existential constructions in Cabinda
Ingår i: Bulletin of Hispanic studies (Liverpool. 2002). - 1475-3839.
- The present paper deals with contact-induced change in existential constructions in the variety of Portuguese spoken in Cabinda, Angola. Portuguese is the official language of Angola, and the officially adopted norm is European Standard Portuguese. The focus of the analysis is on the use of the possessive verb ter ‘to have’ in existential constructions, rather than the existential haver ‘to exist’, which is the standard form in Portugal. The analysis is based on data from 40 interviews with 20 male and 20 female high school Cabinda students between 18 and 30 years of age. The aim is to investigate the role of language contact in the emergence of existential sentences with ter, as well as to verify if the use of ter in existential constructions in Cabinda has the same linguistic constraints as in Brazilian Portuguese. The paper also analyzes social factors related to multilingualism in order to discuss how social and linguistic constraints interact in shaping new varieties, such as Cabinda Portuguese. The conclusion is that the use of ter sentences as existentials in Cabinda Portuguese may be an effect resulting from the confluence of two linguistic factors: (i) changes linked with the pro-drop parameter in Portuguese emerging in Angola, and (ii) the transference of a grammatical property from Bantu languages to Portuguese, specifically, the morphological identity of possessive and existential verbs. Moreover, the only registered social influence over the presence of existential ter constructions is the level of use of Bantu languages, a finding that does not rule out that these constructions may initially have been triggered by more general acquisition effects.