The Americanization of the Creole Language language
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Creole spoken Internationally


Early Creole Languages


Colonial Era French Creoles

Courtesy smithsonian Institute


Martinique - Caribbean Island



The Gullah Language

The Senegal Lauguage with Creole Roots

Photo from the Smithsonian Institute



Origins of

Louisiana Creole




The Creole Language

Many linguists and ethnographers have discussed the three varieties of French that co-exists' in Louisiana:

There are 3 basic French Language types spoken in Louisiana





Web Site Dictionary on Louisiana Creole... Click here


What is meant by the terms "Creole" and "Louisiana Creole"? There have been quite a few different definitions of Louisiana Creole (LC) and Creole in general. According to Albert Valdman, the word Creole originates from crioulo or criolo, which entered the French Language from the Spanish, which in turn probably derives from the past tense crialdo of the verb crier (from the Latin creare), which means "servants raised in the master's house."


researchers explain that Creole is a language similar to the Haitian Creole in form and pronunciation. Hesseling defines "Creole" as "those languages which have arisen out of the European languages in the mouths of Africans, Asians, Australians, or Americans (i.e. aboriginal Americans) in overseas provinces, and then later are also frequently spoken by Europeans or their descendants."


Louisiana... Afro/Creoleck

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Courtesy Smithsonian Institute


Other attempts at capturing the essence of Louisiana Creole include that of French linguist M. Harris, who describes it geographically, as a language spoken by blacks but sometimes by whites in the plantations along the Mississippi between New Orleans and Pointe Coupee Parish and also in St. Martin Parish. Another French writer, Rousseve, add to the picture: "This medium of communication, still a living language, was developed by the Negroes of Colonial Louisiana, and was fused from French, with traces of Spanish and African influence."


easy to learn basic Creole Phrases and words here


Valdman, on the countrary, considers Liusiana Creole as a Louisiana Creole dialect. He describes it as the Negro French or gumbo, imported from the Caribbean, specifically from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Domingue. Read considers Louisiana Creole as a French patois consisting of a French vocabulary, some African words, and an essentially African syntax.

Louisiana Creole (LC), then, has been characterized by various descriptions and referred to by various terms, such as "patois" or "gumbo," in addition to the aforementioned "neg." The most accurate definition seems to be that of recent researchers Margaret Marshall, who argues that Creole is a variety of French that the slaves were exposed to, a vernacular French characterized by regionalisms and reduced forms.

In spite of the fact that the perception of negative linguistic attributes is unwarranted, it is common knowledge that Louisiana Creole did develop in the course of years of contact between French colonists and African slaves. The question one should ask at this point is: "Where did the slaves come from, and what language(s) did they bring to Louisiana, in order for us to determine their linguistic influence(s) on Louisiana Creole?"

Because of the differing points of departure of African slaves, which included Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Dahomey (Republic of Benin), Nigeria, and Angola, researchers like Herskovits, Le Page du Pratz, and Lorenzo Don Turner all agree that the group as a whole was linguistically diverse, with such substrate languages as, among others, Wolof, Malinke, Mangingo, Bambara, Foule, Mende, Vai, Twi, Fante, Ga, Ewe, Fon, Yoruba, Bini, Hausa, Igbo, Ibibio, Efik, Congo, Umbundo, and Kimbundo.

Hall methodically argues that two-thirds of the slaves that arrived in Louisiana were brought from Senegambia, "a site of the great medieval Ghana, Mali, and Songhai trade," a region homogeneous in culture and history, located between the rivers Senegal and Gambia.

The slaves from this region spoke Serrer, Wolof, and Pulaar, which are closely related, and Malinke, spoken in the east by the Mande people. Hall supports with data the fact that Senegambia was the main source of slave trade between Africa and Louisiana in the eighteenth century



...Frenchcreoles does not necessarily agree with these presumptions on the Genesis of the Creole Language but will continue to present the publishers point of view along with more meaningful definitions as time goes on


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