2008-10-11

notes on Goilo's Textbook part 1

E.R. Goilo's Papiamentu Textbook was written in 1962. It has been reprinted several times and is still in print. (Currently there are several used copies available on amazon.com; just go there and do a search on "papiamentu textbook").

Starting with the Preface which covers pronunciation. Here are the items that seemed interesting or questionable.

e is like i in fix in exacto, examen, extremo (Interesting.)

Goilo says i is pronounced like the i in fix in words of Dutch origin such as mik (to aim) and bril (spectacles). But according to Betty Ratzlaff-Henriquez' dictionary these words have become mek and brel. Maybe that only applies to the Curaçao dialect. Jossy Mansur's dictionary of the Aruba dialect lists mik and bril.

As of the 9th edition Goilo does not even mention the letter ü. I suppose that symbol was not being used when he wrote the book and none of the revisers and reprinters since then have added it. His description of u seems to include all of the sounds that are now spelled u, ù and ü.

Goilo says d at the end of a word sometimes sounds like t as in berdad and birtud. Those d's have been changed to t's in the modern Curaçao orthography. Likewise where he mentions that si sounds like sh in words such as siete, there is a trend in Curaçao toward spelling these words the way they sound, shete and so forth.

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