Daman Indo-Portuguese creole
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|Daman Portuguese Creole|
|Língua da Casa|
The Daman Indo-Portuguese language or Daman Portuguese creole, known to its speakers as Língua da Casa (Portuguese for "Home language"), is a Portuguese-based creole spoken in Daman. It is of the few Portuguese creoles still spoken in South Asia.
Since the Norteiros are ethnic Konkani people, the substrate of the Daman creole is likely to be Konkani. Gujarati has also been suggested as a possible substrate, but this is doubtful, since the Gujarati people moved into the region only after the Portuguese arrived.
The superstrate language is Portuguese. Before the Indian annexation of the territory, the Daman creole had become more similar to standard Portuguese.
Number of speakers
The Portuguese heritage in Daman is more common and lively than in Goa and this helped to keep the language alive. Even so, the language is rapidly disappearing because Gujarati is becoming more widely spoken and has become the main language of education. Only the older members of the community speak it at home now. In the past there was a vibrant community of Damanese who spoke it.
The language is spoken by an estimated number of 2,000 Damanese. However, the Damanese Portuguese-Indian Association says that there are 10– 12,000 Portuguese speakers in the territory of 110,000 residents. Sunday Mass is celebrated in Portuguese.
Besides the lingua da casa, Gujarati and Portuguese are also found in the territory.
- Hugo Cardoso, The Death of an Indian-born Language, Open Magazine, October 30, 2010.
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