English as Lingua Franca in the SSS Dutch Islands of the Caribbean
After changing hands numerous times, the Dutch took definite control of the SSS Islands of the Northwestern Caribbean in the 17th century and still rule the islands in the present. From a historical-comparative approach, we examine how and why English, rather than Dutch, became the “lingua franca” and the preferred language of Saba, Statia (Sint Eustatius) and Sint Maarten. We compare the development of the vernacular of each island (Statian English, St. Maarten English, and, Saban English, all of them English-lexifier Creoles). We explore the use of English as the “lingua franca”, the prevalence of English over Dutch, and the formation and development of the vernaculars taking into consideration the socio-historical elements that contributed to such linguistic situation in the SSS Islands.
Keywords - Statia, Saba, Sint Maarten, English, Creole, Dutch