Creolese

Creolese, also referred to in the literature as Guyanese Creole, is a widely-used vernacular language variety which co-exists with Standard Guyanese English, the sole official language of the Republic of Guyana, which is normally acquired through formal schooling. It is the native tongue of the majority of the over 700, 000 inhabitants of the Republic of Guyana, and also widely spoken by several hundred thousand other Guyanese, scattered in the diaspora communities worldwide. Contributing languages to Creolese have included English, Arawak (Lokono), Carib (Karina), Bhojpuri, Akan, Kikongo, Yoruba and Dutch. Due to an ever-present, ongoing contact with its major contributing lexifier English, the Creolese language variety has developed a high degree of variability. Linguists such as Bickerton (1975) and Rickford (1979, 1987) and other scholars have used the term “Creole continuum” to describe this language variety. This continuum includes at one end of the spectrum a basilectal or more conservative language variety and on the other end an acrolectal language variety, more closely allied to Standard English, with a mesolectal or an infinite number of varieties existing in between. In order to provide the user with a more global understanding of the variation context within which Creolese speakers generally operate, the default lect for APiCS incorporates both basilectal and mesolectal varieties of the language. Published sources for some of the examples used in the Creolese APiCS dataset include Dolphin (1996), Monar (1985), Rickford (1979, 1987), Bickerton (1975), Devonish (1974) and Persaud (1970).

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 as a minor 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