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Creoles of the World

2017 Creole Language Distinctiveness
*Title:* Grammars are robustly transmitted even during the emergence of creole languages *Authors*: Damián Blasi, Susanne Michaelis and Martin Haspelmath
*Abstract:* Most languages of the world are taken to result from a combination of a vertical transmission process from older to younger generations of speakers or signers and (mostly) gradual changes that accumulate over time. In contrast, creole languages emerge within a few generations out of highly multilingual societies in situations where no common first language is available for communication (as, for instance, in plantations related to the Atlantic slave trade). Strikingly, creoles share a number of linguistic features (the 'creole profile'), which is at odds with the striking linguistic diversity displayed by non-creole languages1,2,3,4. These common features have been explained as reflecting a hardwired default state of the possible grammars that can be learned by humans1, as straightforward solutions to cope with the pressure for efficient and successful communication5 or as the byproduct of an impoverished transmission process6. Despite their differences, these proposals agree that creoles emerge from a very limited and basic communication system (a pidgin) that only later in time develops the characteristics of a natural language, potentially by innovating linguistic structure. Here we analyse 48 creole languages and 111 non-creole languages from all continents and conclude that the similarities (and differences) between creoles can be explained by genealogical and contact processes, as with non-creole languages, with the difference that creoles have more than one language in their ancestry. While a creole profile can be detected statistically, this stems from an over-representation of Western European and West African languages in their context of emergence. Our findings call into question the existence of a pidgin stage in creole development and of creole-specific innovations. In general, given their extreme conditions of emergence, they lend support to the idea that language learning and transmission are remarkably resilient processes.



American English Speech Recordings: A Guide to Collections.
A directory of collections of audio recordings of varieties of American English spoken in North America and including English-based creoles contains information about collections of any size, classified according to the primary state in the U.S. represented by the speakers in the sample and cross-referenced when more than one state is represented in the collection. Collections covering areas outside the United States are grouped separately, and include the Bahamas, Canada, Central America, Puerto Rico, England, and world-wide sources. The data, based on a survey, include information on each collection's location, institutional affiliation, content, characteristics of the sample, number of subjects recorded, number of hours recorded, dates and locations of taping, average length of the samples, contexts (free speech with or without interviewer directed interview, data elicitation, reading, or other), predominant or outstanding features of the content, subject or technical characteristics, access to Collections, and availableresearch reports concerning the collection. The survey questionnaire is provided in the introductory section of the directory. PDF

English around the World - Internet + English = Netglish

Definitions of Various Creoles

Creole - Kreyol Alphabet Alphabè Kreyòl la The Kreyol Alphabet





  • HAWAIIAN PIDGIN/CREOLE The People, Culture and Language of Hawai'i Learn a little about consonants and vowels in Hawaiian Pidgin.
  • Hawaiian War Chant - also see
  • Ha Kam Wi Tawk Pidgin Yet ['Why do we still talk in Pidgin']: A series of three clips about Hawai'i Creole ('Pidgin') made by High School Students. [link]


Bermudian English Creole

  • The Bermewjun dictionary
  • Southern Bahamian: Transported African American Vernacular English or Transported Gullah? (Stephanie Hackert and John Holm) published in vol. 15 (2009) of The College of the Bahamas Research Journal, pp. 12-21
    Holm argued (wrongly) in the 1990s that proof of AAVE's creole origins lay in the creole speech of the southern Bahamian islands, populated almost entirely from the US mainland after the American Revolutionary War. It has since come to light that most of the immigrants came from Gullah-speaking areas of the US, suggesting that AAVE was from its beginnings the product of partial rather than full creolization.

Jamaican Creole

Development of the Jamaican Language
Sources of language influence on Jamaican Creole Source of Jamaican population, 1500 - 1700 [more]

Trinidad Creole

English English

Spanish Based Creole

  • Papiamento A creole based on Portuguese and pidginized Spanish and spoken in the Netherlands Antilles.
  • Chabacano/Spanish The Philippine Linguistic Identity.
    John Lipski
    Professor of Spanish and Linguistics. His main areas of research include Spanish phonology, language contacts, Spanish dialectology, creole languages, and the African contribution to Spanish and Portuguese. He is the author of numerous books and articles in these fields, and has recently completed a book on varieties of Spanish in the United States. See Filipino American National Historical Society's Pinoy Archives
  • St. Lucia
    St. Lucia, West Indies is a creolophone island of the lesser Antilles. This E-Group is concerned by the preservation of the creole culture in this country.

Haitian Creole

French Creole

  • A Dual Approach to French Creole Genesis
    by Mikael Parkvall M. A. Thesis, presented in April 1995 at the Department of Linguistics at Stockholm University. French-lexicon creoles of the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean (minus Réunionnais) were the result not of one, and not of several, but of two geneses, one on St. Kitts and one in Senegal.The varieties presently spoken on the Lesser Antilles would be descended from the former, and those spoken in the Indian Ocean and in Louisiana would be derived from the latter. I suggested that Haitian and Guianese would be of the Kittitian type, but with certain influences from the Senegalese proto-pidgin.

Guinea-Bissau Creole

Dissertation: Guinea-Bissau Creole by Chiara Truppi

Brief description: My dissertation is a syntactic-semantic study of GBC bare nouns and the theoretical implications. Moreover, GBC nominal system and its bare nouns are compared to a number of other creole and noncreole languages: Cape Verdean Creole, Santome, Papiamentu, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese and Gbe languages.

Future in Nova Scotian Black English

2000 Global Internet Statistics (by Language) lists many languages, how many people speak each language, how many people who speak that language have internet access, the GDP (gross domestic product) per capita for each language ... "We classify by languages instead of by countries, since people speaking the same language form their own online community no matter what country they happen to live in."
"While English is the language of choice on the Internet, it will hasten the extinction of thousands of indigenous languages. By the end of this century, 90 percent of the world's language could become extinct. The culture, customs and knowledge embedded in these languages will also become extinct. As we embrace the languages of former colonial masters, the world losses valuable information passed down by word of mouth over several generations. The extinction of any language is an irretrievable loss to humanity. If the early years of educational instruction are not in an indigenous language, then that language is headed for extinction." -- Dr. Philip Emeagwali

Author: Kofi Yakpo Dissertation Title: A Grammar of Pichi
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Fernando Po Creole English (fpe)
Language Family(ies): Creole
Dissertation Abstract: Pichi (also know as Fernando Po Creole English) is an Atlantic English-lexicon Creole spoken on the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea.
With at least 70,000 speakers, Pichi is an offshoot of Krio (Sierra Leone) and shares many characteristics with its West African sister languages Aku (Gambia) and Nigerian, Cameroonian and Ghanaian Pidgin. At the same time,
contact with Spanish, the colonial and official language of Equatorial Guinea, has made a significant impact on the lexicon and grammar of Pichi.
This first comprehensive description of Pichi is based on extensive fieldwork in Equatorial Guinea. It presents a detailed analysis of the phonology, morphology and syntax of the language and addresses language contact between Pichi and Spanish. The annexes contain a collection of interlinearised and annotated texts as well as Pichi-English-Pichi vocabulary lists.
Pichi has a seven vowel system and twenty-two consonant phonemes. The
language features a mixed prosodic system which employs both pitch-accent and tone. The morphological structure of Pichi is largely isolating. However, there is a limited use of inflectional and derivational morphology in which affixation, tone and suppletive forms are put to use. The categories of tense, modality and aspect are primarily expressed through preverbal particles. In Pichi, aspect rather than tense, plays a dominant role in expressing temporal relations. The modal system includes an indicative-subjunctive opposition. Pichi verbs fall into three lexical aspect classes: dynamic, inchoative-stative and stative. The language exhibits a subject-verb word order in intransitive clauses and a subject-verb-object order in transitive clauses. Pichi also features various types of multiverb constructions. These include secondary predication, clause chaining and serial verb constructions.