Cameroon Pidgin English

Cameroon Pidgin English is spoken in the Republic of Cameroon and in many diaspora communities, e.g. in France, the UK, Germany, the USA, and South Africa. The number of speakers is difficult to determine as it is spoken by different people with varying degrees of competence: these range from L1 speakers and fluent L2 speakers to people who use it only sporadically as a rudimentary and ad hoc means of communication in trade situations. In Cameroon, in addition to the two official languages French and English, there are approximately 280 indigenous languages spoken at the local level, out of which 7 or 8 as well as Cameroon Pidgin English have attained the status of regional lingua francas. Of these, Cameroon Pidgin English is probably the most important one. All these languages (indigenous and official) exert an influence on Cameroon Pidgin English, and therefore variation in this language is determined by varying degrees of approximation to Cameroon English and to French at the acrolectal end (usually associated with educated speakers in urban environments) and varying degrees of influence from the indigenous languages at the basilectal end (usually associated with less educated speakers and rural areas). The variety taken as the default lect for the features in APiCS ranges between the two ends of this gradatum and is usually described as ‘broad variety’. All examples are either taken from published descriptions of the language (as indicated in the dataset) or constructed with the help of Dr. Balbina Ebong, a native speaker of Cameroon Pidgin English.

Acknowledgement:

I would like to thank Dr. Balbina Ebong, who - as a native speaker of Cameroon Pidgin English - crosschecked all constructed examples in this survey

Glossed text (53.4KB, application/pdf)
No. Feature Value % Details Source
No. Feature Value % Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Special segments

mbprenasalized voiced bilabial plosive - Exists only in loanwords
ŋgprenasalized voiced velar plosive - Exists only in loanwords
ŋkprenasalized voiceless velar plosive - Exists only in loanwords
ⁿsprenasalized voiceless dental/alveolar sibilant fricative - Exists only in loanwords

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % Details Source