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Assessing the Sociolinguistic Situation of the Maroon Creoles
2015, Migge, Bettina, Léglise, Isabelle
Recent anthropological and socio-historical research on Maroon populations suggests that Maroon communities have undergone significant social change since the 1960s spurred by processes of urbanization. However, to date very little is known about how these social changes are impacting on the Maroon Creoles as there is very little sociolinguistic research being carried out in the region. The aim of this paper is to examine the sociolinguistic context of the Maroon Creoles in the light of data from two recent sociolinguistic surveys carried out in Suriname and French Guiana. The findings demonstrate that the sociolinguistic status of Maroon languages has undergone various changes. Several of them are now well represented in French Guiana and, as additional languages, are gaining speakers both in Suriname and French Guiana. While their speakers increasingly practice them together with other languages, thus displaying their multilingual repertoire, there is little indication that their survival is threatened because their speakers predominantly hold positive attitudes towards them.