Structure dataset 40: Korlai

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 40.

Korlai is a Portuguese-based creole spoken by the 780 inhabitants (2010 census) of the coastal village of Korlai, located about 150 km south of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra. In this state, and the surrounding states of Gujarat and Karnataka, there is also a small diaspora of Korlai speakers. Korlai is used as the village language for all personal interaction. With the exception of a play written in the creole, Korlai is an oral language. In more formal contexts, Marathi (the regional language) is often used. Up to the early 1960s, Portuguese was the language of the church in Korlai. Around 1964, Marathi was introduced into the church liturgy and it has been the church language ever since. As more Korlai children are finishing high school (Marathi medium) and seeking employment outside of their tradition profession of agriculture, the influence of Marathi is becoming increasingly stronger. The default lect of Korlai described in APiCS is that of children and adult Korlai speakers whose speech was analyzed between 1986 and 2005.

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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
Stop p b  t  d  ʈ ʈʰ ɖ k  g 
Sibilant affricate t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ
Non-sibilant fricative ɸ f h
Approximant ʋ l j
Flap or tap ɾ
Trill ʰr
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 ohigher 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


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