Structure dataset 9: Belizean Creole

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 9.

Belizean Creole (English-based) is used natively by members of the ethnic Creole group and fluently as a lingua franca (as well as sometimes natively) by most of the remaining ethnically diverse population of Belize (including Garinagu, Mestizo and Maya/Kekchi people). It is also likely to be spoken by at least some of the older emigrants of the Belizean diaspora in the United States, albeit only in intragroup contexts. The data represented in APiCS (default lect) were all produced in the majority Creole districts of Belize by native speakers in spontaneous contexts, but there was no attempt at documenting the creole varieties used by the diaspora. Practically all speakers of Belizean Creole shift constantly and seamlessly into mesolects and acrolects across the language spectrum, as determined by elements of the social context (speaker status, style, setting, sex of speaker or audience, etc.), and it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a given feature is basilectal or other. I have sometimes assumed in APiCS discussions of specific features that mesolectal and even acrolectal features have in fact been integrated into the basilect, a normal process of language change which can be readily observed in many language situations representative of the creole continuum.

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 ŋ
Stop p  b t  d k  g
Sibilant affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ ʒ
Non-sibilant fricative f v θ ð h
Approximant l j
Flap or tap ɾ
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 ɨhigh central unrounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel nasalized high back rounded vowel ɪlowered high front unrounded vowel ʊlowered high back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel nasalized higher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel nasalized higher mid back rounded vowel əmid central unrounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɛ̃nasalized lower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower 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 Details Source