Structure dataset 51: Martinican Creole

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 51.

Martinican Creole is spoken by some 400,000 speakers in Martinique, and approximately 200,000 diaspora speakers. The use of the language varies a lot according to geographical and social factors. It is predominantly spoken in the northern and southern countryside of Martinique, where most people are socially disadvantaged and use a variety close to the basilect. By contrast, the variety spoken in central Martinique (which is the island’s economic hub) is more acrolectal and is used by almost half of the population, mainly from the middle and upper class. As a consequence, Martinican Creole is rather heterogeneous. The default lect that we chose for description in APiCS is the variety closer to the basilect, spoken by 30-60 year old people from the countryside. Most examples are constructed by the authors, and some examples are from written sources taken from the most up-to-date body of scientific literature available on the Lesser Antillean Creoles.

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 t d c ɟ k g
Sibilant affricate
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ ʒ
Non-sibilant fricative f v ɣ 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 yhigh front rounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel øhigher mid front rounded oral vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel œlower mid front rounded oral vowel ɛ̃nasalized lower mid front unrounded vowel œ̃nasalized lower mid front rounded 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
 ɥ  voiced labiopalatal glide


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