Journal of Ibero-Romance Creoles

Volume 4 (2013)

On the (dis)unity of the Manila Bay Creoles: some lexical strata in Ternateño

Anthony Grant (Edge Hill University)

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Spanish lexifier creoles spoken in various parts of the Manila Bay region have usually been assumed to be descendants from a single creole. Data from Ternateño, the most viable of these languages, suggest that this may have (at least in part) a separate origin from Caviteño and the extinct Ermitaño, apparently because of the settlement of Márdikas (who were free Christians of indigenous origin) from Ternate, North Maluku, in the late seventeenth century. Evidence from Tirona’s 1924 list of alleged Márdika words in Ternateño shows that many of them (several of which are still in use) derive from Malay or from the non- Austronesian languages Bahasa Ternate, and also Tobelo and Galela, all of which are members of the Halmaheran family. None of the words from these sources are found elsewhere in ‘Manila Bay Creoles’, though all show a few similarities which may connect them with Creole Spanish languages of Mindanao.

Keywords: Ternateño, Spanish, Tagalog, Ternate, Galela, Tobelo, Malay, Portuguese, Manila Bay Creoles, substratum