Ethnologue: Areas: Americas

Trinidad and Tobago

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. 1,451,000 (1995). Literacy rate 96% to 97%. Also includes Chinese 6,500. Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Baha'i. Deaf institutions: 2. Data accuracy estimate: B. The number of languages listed for Trinidad and Tobago is 4.

ENGLISH [ENG] 322,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English. Dialect: TRINIDAD VERNACULAR ENGLISH. The vernacular spoken on Trinidad is not a creole, but a dialect of English (Ian Hancock 1984). National language. Bible 1535-1989. NT 1525-1985. Bible portions 1530-1987.

HINDI, CARIBBEAN (HINDUSTANI, AILI GAILI) [HNS] 45,000 in Trinidad and Tobago, or 10% of the East Indians, who are 36% of the population (1986); 150,000 in Surinam; 195,000 total. Nearly extinct in Guyana. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari. 90% percent of the Hindustanis are reported to speak English as mother tongue. 70% literate. Related to Bhojpuri and Awadhi. Hindu, Muslim, Christian. Bible portions 1980-1993. Work in progress.

LESSER ANTILLEAN CREOLE ENGLISH [VIB] 36,000 in Tobago (1990 estimate); 52,250 U.S. Virgin Islands (1980 WA); 43,000 Grenada; 7,000 British West Indies; 113,000 in St. Vincent (1989); 76,690 in Antigua; 6,270 in Anguilla; 12,000 in British Virgin Islands; 350,000 in all countries. Virgin Islands to Tobago. Creole, English based, Atlantic, Eastern, Southern. Dialect: TOBAGONIAN. Closest to Grenada, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. Slightly intelligible with Jamaican and perhaps Bahamas Creoles. Not known if population given is of actual speakers. Creole English is spoken only on Tobago, not Trinidad. Survey needed.

TRINIDAD CREOLE FRENCH (PATOIS, TRINIDADIEN) [TRF] Trinidad, villages of the Northern Range, fishing communities in the islands and coastal settlements along the peninsula to the west of the capital especially (I. Hancock ms.). Creole, French based. In settlements around Dragon Mouths children under ten speak the language; elsewhere speakers are middle-aged and older. Speakers have contact with French creoles from the Grenadines and St. Lucia, which contributes to language maintenance. M. Alleyne and J. Holm say it is close to Lesser Antillean Creole French. Not intelligible with Standard French. Fishermen. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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