Principense Creole

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Principense Creole
Native to São Tomé and Príncipe
Ethnicity 1,560 (1999)[1]
Native speakers
200 (1999)[2]
Portuguese-based creole
  • Lower Guinea
    • Principense Creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3 pre
Glottolog prin1242[3]
Linguasphere 51-AAC-acb

Principense Creole, called lunguyê ("language of the island") by its speakers, is a Portuguese creole spoken in a community of some four thousand people in São Tomé and Príncipe, specifically on the island of Príncipe (there are two Portuguese-based creoles on São Tomé, Angolar and São Tomense), according to a 1989 study.[4] Today it is mostly spoken by some elderly women (the Ethnologue entry lists 200 native speakers); most of the island's community speaks noncreolized Portuguese; some also speak Forro. Younger generations do not understand Principense or do not value it, leading to the fast decline of the creole.[5]

Principense presents many similarities with the Forro on São Tomé and may be regarded as a Forro dialect. Like Forro, it is a creole language based on Portuguese with substrates of Bantu and Kwa.


  1. ^ Principense Creole at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  2. ^ Principense Creole at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Principense". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Holm, John A. (1989). Pidgins and Creoles: Reference Survey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-521-35940-5. 
  5. ^ [ Estudo do Léxico do São-Tomense com Dicionário, Carlos Fontes - Universidade de Coimbra.]