Structure dataset 38: Fa d’Ambô

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 38.

Fa d’Ambô is the language of the island of Annobón in the Gulf of Guinea. It probably developed from the creole of São Tomé as it was spoken at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Most of the c. 5,000 speakers live on the island of Annobón and in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea. On Annobón, people speak Fa d’Ambô most of the time, while they speak Spanish, the official language of the country, only in formal contexts, e.g. in the educational system. In Malabo the situation is much more complicated as it is a melting pot of languages, including the vernacular language Pichi, an English-based creole. Probably close to 100% of the men are at least bilingual, as they usually go to Malabo to work. For women this percentage is lower. Some of them have never left the island and have used Spanish only in school.

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 ɲ ŋ
Stop p b mb t ⁿt d ⁿd k g ŋg
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ
Non-sibilant fricative f v x
Approximant ɭ 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 long high front unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel long higher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel long higher mid back rounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel long low central unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments


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