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This paper explores the degree of substrate influence of four Niger-Congo North Atlantic languages (Papel, Mankanya, Jola Bayote, and Balanta) on the Portuguese-based creole language Crioulo spoken in Guinea-Bissau. I compare body-part idioms across these languages and then compare them with European Portuguese, and to a lesser extent, with Kabuverdianu, the creole spoken on Cape Verde. To adequately claim language contact and substrate influence, the historical sociolinguistic background is discussed. On the basis of this data, several idioms are shown to have been influenced by the substrate languages. Other idioms are shown to reflect universal cognitive processes. The findings are then applied to the Bible translation projects of Guinea-Bissau.
In the interest of making this work available without further delay, we are posting it as it was accepted by the institution that granted the degree without further peer review.