Structure dataset 19: Pichi

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 19.

Pichi is used as a home or vernacular language by the vast majority of the old-established population of the island of Bioko. It is most often used as a primary home language in the Equatoguinean capital Malabo (located on Bioko), as well as in Luba (the second largest agglomeration of Bioko). There are no language-specific census data on Equatorial Guinea. By extrapolation from population figures it may however be safe to assume that at least seventy percent of the population of Bioko, hence more than 150,000 people, use Pichi regularly. On one end, the lectal continuum of Pichi features a variety rather close to Sierra Leone Krio in terms of phonology, morphosyntax, lexicon and idiomatic usage. This variety tends to be characteristic of older speakers, who grew up in the centre of Malabo in the ambit of Fernandino creole culture. On the other end, we find a variety characterized by phonological and morphosyntactic innovation, the absence of older layers of Krio-derived vocabulary, some convergence with West African English lexifier creoles like Nigerian Pidgin, and considerable lexical and structural admixture from Spanish. This variety, which is the default lect documented in APiCS, tends to be spoken by the younger urban working-class population of Malabo, often with a Bubi cultural background, who have adopted Pichi as a primary language, and whose families have been accultured in more recent decades into the Pichi-speaking urban culture of Malabo. The former variety is spoken by much fewer people than the latter one and continues shrinking at the expense of the latter variety.

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No. Feature Value Details Source
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Pulmonic Consonants
Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
↓ Manner Bilabial Labio­dental Linguo­labial Dental Alveolar Palato-
Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal
/ Epiglottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop p b t d k g
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s
Non-sibilant fricative f v ʁ h
Approximant l j
Flap or tap
Lateral affricate
Lateral fricative
Lateral approximant
Lateral flap


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Close Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open ihigh front unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower mid back rounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide
 k͡p  voiceless labial-velar plosive
 g͡b  voiced labial-velar plosive


       Exists (as a major allophone)
       Exists only as a minor allophone
       Exists only in loanwords
No. Feature Value Details Source