The first part of this chapter reviews the research on the Maroon Creoles of Suriname (and French Guiana) showing that research to date has primarily focused on genesis-based, structural linguistic issues to the detriment of sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological issues. This has much inhibited interaction with other disciplines such as anthropology and education that also have an interest in Maroon Culture and (mis)represented them as relatively static and rural languages despite the fact that their speakers have undergone rapid urbanization and social change in the last thirty years. The second part of the paper explores language practices among Kwinti and Matawai Maroons, two understudied and endangered Maroon languages, showing that while the latter is still regularly practiced as a community language in the village context, the former appears to have become an ethnic register of a generalized (eastern) Maroon variety.
Isabelle Léglise and Bettina Migge
Language, Mobility and Identity
Edited by Eithne B. Carlin, Isabelle Léglise, Bettina Migge and Paul B. Tjon Sie Fat
In and Out of Suriname: Language, Mobility and Identity offers a unique multidisciplinary perspective on a multilingual society in the Caribbean and Guianan sphere. Breaking away from the view of bounded ethnicity, the authors address central theoretical issues of multilingual and multicultural societies including ethnicity as a social distinction, identity as the shifting construction of the self and others, and the role of language therein. They discuss the impact of contact and mobilities on language maintenance, expansion and change. Language, mobility and identity in Suriname are observed through the lens of the actors themselves, from the ever-mobile Amerindians and Maroons on the periphery of land and society through expanding urban societies enhanced by recent migration from Haiti, Brazil and China.