Structure dataset 4: Nengee

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 4.

The different varieties of Nengee (Aluku, Ndyuka and Pamaka) emerged during the 18th century as the result of maroonage. Although they ultimately have their origin in the contact varieties that emerged on the plantation of Suriname, they developed into distinct varieties, having undergone separate development after their founders’ settlement in the interior of the Surinamese/French Guianese rainforst. There has always been some contact between Maroons and the coastal population through Maroon men’s commercial activities and seasonal cash labor. However, contact has gradually intensified since the 1950s with Maroons’ greater integration into Surinamese and recently also French Guianese society due to both migration and, to a much lesser extent, social change in the village setting. Today, both many Maroon men and women live in or regularly spend time in urban contexts and are in contact with members of other Maroon communities and non-Maroons. In this new context, code alternation practices involving the regional lingua franca Sranan (also Sranantongo), but also other languages such as Dutch and to a lesser extent French and English have become quite frequent in both out-group and in-group speech among younger people and new social varieties (e.g. wakaman/yunkuman tongo) have emerged besides other existing ones such as respect speech (cf. Migge 2004). In addition, non-Maroons in French Guiana have been acquiring these newly emerging multilingual practices often referred to as Takitaki locally (Cf. Migge & van den Berg 2009; Migge & Léglise 2011, 2013; Léglise & Migge 2007). The description of linguistics features in APiCS (default lect) are predominantly based on typical monolingual everyday speech that is associated with the village context (Huttar & Huttar 1994; Goury & Migge 2003; and other articles by these authors). However, where necessary reference is made to other varieties such as respect speech and contemporary speech associated with the urban context. The speech samples/texts provided are also representative of conservative village practices. Modern urban-associated practices are documented in Migge 2005a, 2005b, 2007, 2011, and in Migge & Léglise 2013.

Glossed text (51.6KB, application/pdf)
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 d k  g
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ
Non-sibilant fricative f v 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 long high front unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel long high 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
 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