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Il nome visualizzato deve essere lungo almeno 2 caratteri. The number of privately owned plantations is not documented for this early period, but 12 years later, in , there were ninety-three private plantations in the Berbice River and twenty in the Canje Creek Smith, ; assuming that these were not all established over that short period of time, there must have been a fair number of private plantations even in the seventeenth century.
In short, of the eight plantations in the inventory, five were already in existence in the s; indeed, since these represent the assets of the financier of the Berbice venture, it is natural that they were among the first to be established. This would not have been true of the privately owned plantations listed in In all, I suggest that Berbice must have had a more significant plantation structure than Essequibo in the mid-seventeenth century. Postma cites a inventory which shows that the three wic plantations in Essequibo were operated by 43 Europeans, black slaves and 54 Amerindian slaves, or an average of 73 slaves per plantation.
Private plantations, of which by there were 14, averaged only 11 slaves p. For the most part, these slaves must have belonged to the six sugar plantations. Private plantations mostly cultivated tree crops cacao, coffee, annatto and tobacco—and continued to do so throughout the history of Berbice as a Dutch colony. Privately held plantations, being nonsugar for the most part, would have augmented this number with dozens rather than hundreds of slaves. This is further supported when we consider that in , when the colony consists of plantations, the black slave population has not quite reached 1, Kramer, : 60, based on tax counts.
With a slave population at least double that of Essequibo, the white population of Berbice also appears to have been significantly larger than that of Essequibo. Moreover, there was a sizeable enough population of planters to constitute a Council. Summing up, the Dutch constituted a minority of the Essequibo and Berbice populations right from the start. For the early decades of the seventeenth century, the largest group present in and around the colonies were Amerindians. As the Dutch in Essequibo pursued trading activities and the cultivation of tree crops, plantations did not exceed an average of a dozen slaves, of whom a significant but declining number were Amerindian.
However, with the establishment of sugar plantations in the course of the seventeenth century, the demand for imported slaves grew and we see the emergence of a population dominated by enslaved Africans on the few Company-owned sugar plantations, while numbers on the privately owned estates remain low. In Berbice, the white population was rather more substantial. Moreover, the Van Pere patroonship established several sugar plantations early; hence, the population of enslaved Africans is likely to have become an important presence in Berbice before it did in Essequibo.
Instead, Europeans constituted a minority presence from the outset, among a dominant population first of Amerindians, then of enslaved Africans. Although the practice of Amerindian enslavement ceased as the African slave population increased, Amerindians remained an important presence in the plantation environment. These are chiefly of the Arawak nation, with a few Caribeese in the Masserooney and Cuyuni. The Creole Dutch is the language next to their own best understood by the Indians in their intercourse with the settlers. Although Amerindian languages were a constant part of the linguistic landscape, and may initially have been the majority languages of the plantation populations, lexical items constitute the sole evidence of sustained contact between Dutch and Amerindian speakers.
Here, we find a curious bias: despite references in the historical sources to contact between the Dutch and both Arawaks and Caribs, it is only the language of the former that has contributed to the lexicon of the Dutch Creoles. This cannot simply be explained by referring to hostile Dutch-Carib relations, as the Dutch appear to have conducted a lively barter trade with the Caribs. It does suggest that there is some truth in the view that Arawak Indians were the main if not sole victims of the trade which supplied Amerindian slaves to Dutch plantations.
Although it is probable that enslaved Africans became a dominant presence soon after the first slave arrivals, Amerindian enslavement persisted well into the eighteenth century. This means that both Amerindian and African slaves were present in the emergent plantation colonies. Is it possible that the linguistic practices developed in Dutch-Amerindian contact constituted a basis for the development of Dutch creole? It appears not. Surrounding Amerindian communities supported the continued use of the heritage languages of Amerindians on the plantations, and reduced the need for a stable contact variety.
Thus, during the transition from an Amerindian-dominated to an African-dominated plantation population in Berbice and Essequibo, enslaved Africans entered a language contact situation in which Amerindians did not provide linguistic role models. Hence, the Dutch creoles of the two plantation areas were largely formed in the contact between enslaved Africans and Dutchmen. In this context, it is hardly surprising that Arawak remains a somewhat peripheral contributor to the lexicon of the Dutch creoles.
Thus, Arawak-derived forms in Berbice Dutch bd are predominantly found in terms denoting indigenous flora and fauna, other elements of the natural environment, and Amerindian food items—although a few forms form part of other cultural domains: body parts, kinship terms, verbs relating to hunting and food processing, spiritual elements, etc. A far more significant contribution to the Berbice Dutch lexicon is that which can be traced back to a West African source.
As first documented in Smith, Robertson and Williamson , that source is Eastern Ijo, a small cluster within the Ijo family. In Kouwenberg , I discuss the unusual characteristics of this African element in the bd lexicon: different from other Caribbean creoles, it has a single source, comprises more verbs than nouns, is found in basic vocabulary rather than culturally specific vocabulary, and includes words of specific importance to plantation life. Perhaps most suprisingly, the Eastern Ijo-derived forms in bd also include such functional forms as pronouns; markers of aspect, location, negation, focus, comparative, and plural number; and copular forms and auxiliaries.
And while more function words in bd can be ascribed to Dutch, all bound morphemes in bd are traceable to Eastern Ijo. In addition to the seminal Eastern Ijo contribution to the bd lexicon, previous authors, beginning with Smith, Robertson and Williamson , have pointed to the existence in bd of grammatical patterns which resemble those of Eastern Ijo.
However, despite superficial resemblances, bd and Eastern Ijo belong to different linguistic types. In Kouwenberg , I consider a possible account of the emergence of bd , and I argue that locally born children constitute the population which was responsible for its creation. Of Skepi Dutch sd , so little is known that it is not possible to say whether Amerindian and West-African elements can be identified in this language.
There are, moreover, mismatches between bd and sd Dutch-derived forms Kouwenberg, : ff , supporting the view that the two languages developed separately. This shared form points to sufficient contact that borrowing between the two Dutch-lexifier creoles was possible Kouwenberg Unsurprisingly, given the dominance of Zeeland in the colonisation of both Berbice and Essequibo, there are clear indications that Southern, Zeelandic Dutch is the dominant lexifier variety for the two creoles, at least in their early period of emergence.