Structure dataset 28: Berbice Dutch

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 28.

Berbice Dutch is extinct, its last speakers having died in the first decade of the twentyfirst century. The fieldwork on which the APiCS description of this language is based was carried out in the period 1986-1991 by the author and in the mid 1970s by Ian E. Robertson with speakers on the Berbice River and the Wiruni Creek, the latter a tributary of the Berbice River, in Guyana. Some minor differences exist between Berbice River and Wiruni Creek speakers, notably in the form of the 1PL and 3PL pronouns and in the loss of final unstressed vowels in some forms used by Berbice River speakers. Whether these differences are of recent vintage or represent the continuation of older dialect differences cannot be ascertained, given that an older corpus does not exist. In the description, data from Berbice River and Wiruni Creek speakers are used without distinction.

No. Feature Value Details Source
No. Feature Value Details Source


Pulmonic Consonants
Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
↓ Manner Bilabial Labio­dental Linguo­labial Dental Alveolar Palato-
Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal
/ Epiglottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop p b t d k g
Sibilant affricate
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s ʃ
Non-sibilant fricative f x h
Approximant ɹ 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 ɪlowered high front unrounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel əmid central unrounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower mid back rounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide


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