Sea Island Creole English

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A language of United States

Alternate Names
Geechee, Gullah
Population

350 (2010 census). 10,000 in New York City (Holm 1989). Ethnic population: 250,000.

Location

Georgia: Sea Islands off coast; Michigan: Detroit; New York: New York City; North Carolina: Jacksonville coastal region; South Carolina: coastal lowlands to Jacksonville, Florida.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

None known. Intelligibility with other English-based creoles is undetermined. Reportedly similar to Bahamas Creole English [bah]. Lexical similarity: 90% with Afro-Seminole [afs].

Language Use

Vigorous. Also use English [eng].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%–100%. Government bilingual education program begun. Dictionary. NT: 2005.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Linguistic influences from Fula [fub], Mende [men], upper Guinea coast, and Gambia River area (Hancock 1987).

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