Cape Verdean Creole of São Vicente

Cape Verdean Creole of São Vicente is spoken by 76,107 (2010) inhabitants of São Vicente island (Barlavento group), in the Atlantic Ocean (west of Senegal), and an unknown number of diaspora speakers (in Europe and the United States).

Although an official alphabet for Cape Verdean Creole exists, there is no standard orthography and the language is predominantly oral. Though its use in media, new technologies and formal situations (courts, banks, professional meetings) is increasing, the lexifier Portuguese, used as L2, continues to be the only official language and the language of formal schooling and writing. The level of literacy in São Vicente is 86.3% (2010) and nowadays roughly 60% of São Vicente youth complete secondary education (12 years).

The small size of the island (approximately 227 km2) and the fact that over 90% of its population live in the port-city of Mindelo contribute to the relative homogeneity of the lect. The São Vicente variety is spoken on a daily basis by all social classes, including resident foreigners, and the differences between the speech of the city dwellers and the speech of the inhabitant of a few interior oases and fishing villages are minor and affect mostly the lexicon. The default lect documented in APiCS is based on extensive field-work and participant observation and is intended to be representative of the entire speech community. Constructed examples are from Dirceu Rocha, a young urban native speaker of Cape Verdean Creole of São Vicente, who has a university degree and training in linguistics.

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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

ʎvoiced palatal lateral approximant - Exists (as a major allophone)
ə̃nasalized mid central unrounded 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