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Antillean Creole

Antillean Creole
kreyol, kwéyòl, patois
Native to French Antilles, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago
Native speakers
1.2 million (1998–2001)
French Creole
  • Antillean Creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
gcf – Guadeloupean Creole
acf – Saint Lucian / Dominican Creole
scf – San Miguel Creole French (Panama)
Glottolog less1242
Linguasphere

51-AAC-cc (varieties:

51-AAC-cca to -cck)
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51-AAC-cc (varieties:

Antillean Creole is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles. Its grammar and vocabulary include elements of Carib and African languages.

Antillean Creole is related to Haitian Creole but has a number of distinctive features; however, they are mutually intelligible. The language was formerly more widely spoken in the Lesser Antilles, but its number of speakers is declining in Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. While the islands of Dominica and Saint Lucia are officially English-speaking, there are efforts to preserve the use of Antillean Creole, as well as in Trinidad & Tobago and its neighbour, Venezuela. In recent decades, Creole has gone from being seen as a sign of lower socio-economic status, banned in school playgrounds, to a mark of national pride.

Since the 1970s, there has been a literary revival of Creole in the French-speaking islands of the Lesser Antilles, with writers such as Raphaël Confiant and Monchoachi employing the language. Edouard Glissant has written theoretically and poetically about its significance and its history.

Antillean Creole is spoken, to varying degrees, in Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Îles des Saintes, Martinique, Saint-Barthélemy (St. Barts), Saint Martin, Saint Lucia, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela (mainly in Macuro, Güiria and El Callao). Dominican, Grenadian, St. Lucian, Trinidadian, Brazilian (Lanc-Patuá) and Venezuelan speakers of Antillean Creole call the language patois. It is also spoken in various Creole-speaking immigrant communities in the United States Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, and the island of Saint Martin.


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