Negerhollands

Negerhollands (or Virgin Islands Dutch Creole) is a Dutch-based creole language that is currently extinct. It used to be spoken on the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, the current US Virgin Islands, a former Danish colony. It was primarily spoken by the slave population labouring in the plantations. In the 19th century, there was a great drift to the town where English and English Creole were spoken Negerhollands became restricted to the decreased population of the rural areas. By the 20th century it was only generally spoken by the older generations. Occasional transfer still produced a handful of speakers up into the 1970s. The last speaker passed away in 1987. The default lect described in APiCS is the variety spoken in the 1920s by 60 – 81 year old speakers from St. Thomas and St. John, as documented by De Josselin de Jong (1926). Other documented varieties of Negerhollands are the acrolect spoken by white colonists in the 18th century, often referred to as “Hochkreol”(“High creole”), and the missionary variety used by the missionaries in their liturgical material, primers, and bible translations. The missionaries used Dutch creole in their sermons, services, and literature until the end of the first half of the 19th century.

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

ʏlowered high front rounded vowel - Exists (as a major allophone)

Legend

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