Saramaccan

Saramaccan is one of the maroon creole languages of Surinam. It is spoken by the Saramaccan and Matawai tribes. The sociolinguistic situation of Saramaccan at the present is unclear, as a significant part of the population has moved away from the original maroon settlements on the Suriname River to the following three main locations for different reasons: Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam, for reasons of employment, and as a refuge from the civil war; French Guiana also as a refuge because of the war; and the Netherlands as an emigrant destination. The total number of speakers (in Surinam and in the diaspora) has been estimated as up to 50.000. Little detailed work has been done on internal variation in Saramaccan. Upriver (líbase) and downriver (básuse) dialects can be distinguished, as well as a separate Matawai dialect spoken on the Saramacca River. The default lect chosen for the description in APiCS is roughly the Básuse-dialect, due to the fact that the authors have first-hand experience with this variety.

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

labialized voiceless velar plosive - Exists (as a major allophone)
ɗvoiced dental/alveolar implosive plosive - Exists (as a major allophone)
labialized voiced velar plosive - Exists (as a major allophone)
labialized voiceless glottal fricative - 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