Structure dataset 56: Seychelles Creole

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 56.

Seychelles Creole (autoglossonym: kreol (seselwa)) is a French-based creole language spoken by some 80,000 people in the Republic of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean (east of Kenya), and by an unknown number of diaspora speakers in Kenya, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Since 1978 Seychelles Creole has been one of the three official languages besides English and French. Creole is the native language of about 95 per cent of the population. In 1982 it was introduced as a language of instruction in primary schools and has been used in different formal communication contexts, for example, in the media (television, radio, newspapers) and in court. But during the last 15 years, the use of written varieties of Seychelles Creole has lost much of its former significance to English.

The default lect that we chose for description in APiCS is roughly the speech of 40-60 year old educated Seychelles people living in the capital of Victoria. All constructed examples are given by Marcel Rosalie, a native speaker of Seychelles Creole. Examples which come from other lects/sources are indicated in the dataset: French-influenced, older generation, and written. The main source for the older-generation lect is Bollée & Rosalie (1994). If this lect does not deviate from our default lect, examples from this source are also cited under default lect. Examples from the written lect come from the online journal Seychelles Nation ( Some rare examples are French-influenced. Even though French as the lexifier language of Seychelles Creole lost its major significance vis a vis the creole language (in 1814, the Seychelles became a British colony after the Napoleonic Wars), one certainly can detect a certain impact of French on the written varieties of Seychelles Creole.

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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 t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z
Non-sibilant fricative f v ɣ h
Approximant l j ȷ̃
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 ohigher mid back rounded vowel nasalized higher mid back rounded vowel ɛːlong lower mid front unrounded vowel ɛ̃nasalized lower mid front unrounded vowel ɔːlong lower mid back rounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel long low central unrounded vowel nasalized low central unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide


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