Structure dataset 30: Cape Verdean Creole of Santiago

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 30.

Cape Verdean Creole is a Portuguese-based creole language spoken by about one million people in and outside the archipelago of Cape Verde, which since 1975 has been independent from Portugal, and since 1981 separated from Guinea-Bissau. About half of the Cape Verdeans speak the Santiago variety, some 250 000 on Santiago island and another 250 000 Cape Verdean emigrants in different countries bordering on the Atlantic Ocean (mainly in the Boston region of the United States and in Lisbon, but also in Brazil, Angola, Senegal etc.). Not all diaspora members have a complete command of the language. On Santiago, everybody speaks Santiago Creole in daily life except for some immigrants from the other islands who have moved to the capital Praia for professional reasons. Nevertheless, Portuguese is still the only official language and the only one used in teaching. The default lect that we chose for description in APiCS is a variety equally well accepted in the capital and in the rural regions of the interior. In the interior (concelho de Santa Catarina) it competes with more conservative varieties, in which a women may still be addressed as nhára (< Portuguese senhora) instead of nha etc. In town it competes with varieties and registers more or less influenced by Portuguese, in the dataset indicated as acrolect (close to Portuguese), which has adjectives varying according to sex (minina bunita 'pretty girl' instead of minina bunitu) or even according to the gender of Portuguese nouns, etc.

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No. Feature Value lect Details Source
No. Feature Value lect 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 ɲ ŋ
Stop p b mb t d c ɟ k g
Sibilant affricate
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ ʒ
Non-sibilant fricative f v
Approximant l j ʎ
Flap or tap
Trill r
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 nasalized high front unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel nasalized high back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel nasalized higher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel nasalized higher mid back rounded vowel əmid central unrounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɛ̃nasalized lower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower mid back rounded vowel ɔ̃nasalized lower mid back rounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel nasalized low 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 lect Details Source