« Papia Kristang: Documenting and Describing one of Malaysia’s Disappearing Languages » by Robert Laub, 07/02/2018, SOAS
In the year 1511 Vasco da Gama and the Portuguese arrived in Malacca, one of Asia’s largest trade centres. As the Portuguese took root, intermixing between the Portuguese and locals led to the creation of a mixed community. Holding onto their Catholic faith and Eurasian traditions until today, they also continue to speak their Portuguese-lexified creole language, known as Papia Kristang. My study looks into the morphosyntactic structure of Kristang in relation to its contact languages, Portuguese and Malay, as well as in relation to Makista, the Portuguese-lexified creole of Macau. My research took me to Malacca where I had the opportunity to record native speakers of Kristang to help better understand the language.
Robert Laub is a PhD candidate at SOAS in Linguistics. He previously received his MA from SOAS in Language Documentation and Description and wrote his thesis on decreolization in Makista (Macau Creole). His current interests are Luso-Asian creoles, especially the morpho-syntax and how the sociopolitical and sociolinguistic environments help to shape the structure of these languages.