Aukan (Ndyuka)

Children of the Aukan community

The Language Spoken:

The society was formed by escaped slaves. Subsistence and economy is Amerindian; social culture and religion are West African. Aluku has more French influence than Paramaccan does. Any spelling of Ndyuka without the initial nasal is considered derogatory. 'Aukan' is English and 'Aukaans' is Dutch. In the early 1900s an Aukaner named Afaka developed a syllabic writing system, but few learned to read it, and it was not officially endorsed. 12 clans. Tonal. Coastal, mountain slope, riverine. Swampy, rainforest. Gold miners; river transport; lumbermen; agriculturalists; manual labor; government workers; manufacturing; politics. Traditional religion, Christian. 

Alternate Names:  Ndyuka, Ndjuká, Njuká, "Djuka", "Djoeka", Aukaans, Okanisi.

Classifications: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Suriname, Ndyuka

Dialects: Aukan, Aluku (Aloekoe, Boni), Paramaccan. Kwinti is further removed from Aukan than are Aluku and Paramaccan.

Language Development: Literacy rate in first language: below 10%. Literacy rate in second language: 15% to 25%. Radio programmes. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1999.

Language Use: Vigorous. In Paramaribo some have shifted to Dutch, some younger ones to Sranan. All domains. Used in oral and written form in religious services. Positive language attitude. Most men can speak Sranan Tongo, and many women can understand it. Schools are in Dutch, so many younger ones can read and write it, but the majority are not fluent. Perhaps 30% to 50% can speak all 3 languages.

Population: 15,542 in Suriname. 10% to 20% monolingual. Population includes 14,353 Aukan, 33 Aluku, 1,156 Paramaccan (1980 census). Population total all countries: 22,134

Region: French Guiana border. Paramaccan are in northeast Suriname. In the 1980s and 1990s many went to Paramaribo. Also spoken in French Guiana.

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