Seychelles Creole

Seychelles Creole (autoglossonym: kreol (seselwa)) is a French-based creole language spoken by some 80,000 people in the Republic of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean (east of Kenya), and by an unknown number of diaspora speakers in Kenya, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Since 1978 Seychelles Creole has been one of the three official languages besides English and French. Creole is the native language of about 95 per cent of the population. In 1982 it was introduced as a language of instruction in primary schools and has been used in different formal communication contexts, for example, in the media (television, radio, newspapers) and in court. But during the last 15 years, the use of written varieties of Seychelles Creole has lost much of its former significance to English.

The default lect that we chose for description in APiCS is roughly the speech of 40-60 year old educated Seychelles people living in the capital of Victoria. All constructed examples are given by Marcel Rosalie, a native speaker of Seychelles Creole. Examples which come from other lects/sources are indicated in the dataset: French-influenced, older generation, and written. The main source for the older-generation lect is Bollée & Rosalie (1994). If this lect does not deviate from our default lect, examples from this source are also cited under default lect. Examples from the written lect come from the online journal Seychelles Nation (http://www.nation.sc). Some rare examples are French-influenced. Even though French as the lexifier language of Seychelles Creole lost its major significance vis a vis the creole language (in 1814, the Seychelles became a British colony after the Napoleonic Wars), one certainly can detect a certain impact of French on the written varieties of Seychelles Creole.

No. Feature Value % lect Details Source
No. Feature Value % lect 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

ȷ̃nasalized voiced palatal glide

Legend

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