Saint Lucian Creole French

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Saint Lucian Creole
kwéyòl, patwa
Native to Saint Lucia
Native speakers
160,000 (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 acf [2][3]
Glottolog sain1246[4]
Linguasphere 51-AAC-ccg

Saint Lucian Creole French, known locally as Patwá, is a French-based creole, which is the generally spoken language in Saint Lucia.


It is a sub-variety of Antillean Creole, which is spoken in other islands of the Lesser Antilles and is very closely related to the varieties spoken in Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. The intelligibility rate with speakers of other varieties of Antillean Creole is almost 100%. Its syntactic, grammatical and lexical features are virtually identical to that of Martinican Creole, though, like its Dominican counterpart, it includes more English loanwords than the Martinican variety.

Like the other Caribbean Creoles, Saint Lucian French Creole combines syntax of African and Carib origin with a primarily French-derived vocabulary.[citation needed] In addition, many expressions reflect the presence of an English Creole and Spanish influences are also present in the language.[citation needed] The language is not considered to be mutually intelligible with standard French, but is intelligible with the other French creoles of the Lesser Antilles, and is related to Haitian Creole which has a number of distinctive features, but nonetheless are both mutually intelligible.

It is still widely spoken in Saint Lucia, though the actual number of speakers appear to have declined in the past decades. In the mid 19th century it was exported to Panama, where it is now moribund.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saint Lucian Creole French (Saint Lucia) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Ethnologue code for Saint Lucian Creole French (spoken in Dominica and Saint Lucia) with the ISO 639-3 code: acf. However, it notes that their rate of comprehension is 90%, which would qualify them as dialects of a single language.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Saint Lucian Creole French". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.