Structure dataset 37: Principense

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 37.

Principense, a Portuguese-based language called Lung’Ie (the language of the island) by its speakers, is an endangered language. On the island of Principe (Gulf of Guinea), there are maybe still twenty native speakers who speak the language fluently; however, a teritorially homogeneous linguistic community does not exist any more. The dominant languages of Principe are regional varieties of Portuguese as well as Cape Verdean Creole; the latter is spoken by more than half of the population of the island, due to the important immigration of Cape Verdeans from the beginning of the 20th century.

Some efforts have been made to teach Principense in school, but these efforts have not been successful. Printed media do not exist on the island of Principe, but radio news are broadcast five times a week (sometimes less).

Outside Principe, Principense is spoken on the neighbouring island São Tomé; a fairly numerous community of Principense speakers live in Lisbon (Portugal); however, it is impossible to determine the exact number of these native speakers.

The default lect described in APiCS is the lect spoken by people aged sixty or more; younger generation refers to some extremely rare speakers between thirty and fifty years who possess a good command of the language.

Glossed text (58.0KB, application/pdf)
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 t d k g
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ ʒ
Non-sibilant fricative f v
Approximant l j ʎ ȷ̃
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 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
 ɓ  voiced bilabial implosive plosive
 w  voiced labial-velar glide
 ɗ  voiced dental/alveolar implosive plosive
 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 lect Details Source