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|Native to||Saint Vincent|
|(140,000 cited 1989)|
Vincentian Creole is an English-based creole language spoken in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It does not have the status of an official language. It contains elements of French and Antillean Creole, Spanish, and even Portuguese. It has also been influenced by the indigenous Kalinago/Garifuna elements and by African language brought over the Atlantic Ocean by way of the slave trade. Over the years the creole has changed to be more English-based.
One must also always bear in mind that creole was developed as a spoken language by very intelligent (but "uneducated") slaves who needed to be able to communicate with other slaves from other tribes. Most of the words were overheard and therefore mispronounced by the standard of the original languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese). This particular creole has no grammatical rules as such but some observations can be made as to how speakers structure their sentences when speaking and as to how ideas are expressed.
The creole is English-based. However, most, if not all, words are pronounced with a "Vincy" flavour. The native speakers of creole can speak it as fast or slow as they want. Most prefer to speak relatively quickly.
- Hard sounds at the end of words are avoided. There are mainly two ways hard sounds are evaded:
- by changing the order of the sounds. Example: "ask" is rendered as "aks"
- by dropping the last sound. Example: "desk" pronounced as "dess" and "tourist" as "touriss"
- For words ending in "-er", the "-er" sound changes to an "ah" sound. Example: "never" is pronounced as "nevah" and clever as "clevah"
- For words ending in "-th", the soft "-th" sound is replaced by the hard "t" sound as if the "h" were dropped. Example: "with" is rendered as "wit" and "earth" as "eart"
- For words ending in "-own", the "-own" is rendered as "-ung". Examples: down is rendered "dung" and town is rendered "tung"
- Words beginning with "dr" change to " j". Examples: driver is rendered 'jiver' and "drop off" as "jop off"
Generally, there is no need for concord. The verb in its plural form is simply placed after the subject of the sentence. The object of the sentence is then placed after the verb, as in English. If there are both a direct object and an indirect object, the indirect object is placed directly after the verb followed by the direct object.
The subject pronouns are as shown in the following table.
|me||me (English)||I or me|
|yo||you (English)||you (singular, as both object and subject)|
|e/i (pronounced "ee")||he (English)||he/she/it|
|ahwe||all of we (incorrect grammatically, English)||we or us|
|aryo/alyo||all of you (English)||you (plural, as both object and subject)|
|dem/demdey||them/them there (English)||they or them|
With regards to tense, the present tense is indicated by the use of the modal "does" (for habitual actions) or by the use of the present participle ending in "-ing" (for actions one is currently doing). The past tense is indicated by the use of either what is in English the plural form of the present tense of the verb, the modal "did", "been"/"bin" or the past participle of the verb. The future tense is indicated by the use of the present participle of the verb "to go", which is "going" (gine or gwine in the creole), or the plural form of the verb, "go".
|Present||Me does give / Me givin'|
|Past||Me give / Me did give / Me bin give|
|Future||Me gine give/ Me gwine give / Me go give|
|maanin||morning (English)||Good Morning!/morning|
|mek?||what made ____ (what caused _____) ?||why?|
|naygah||equivalent to negro (English)||people|
|caah||cause 'because' (English)||because or cannot|
|paa/weypaa||where (English)||where or what|
|comess||konmès (Antillean Creole)||gossip|
|outadoh/out dey||outdoors (English)||outside|
|huunch||Unknown||to elbow someone|
- Antiguan Creole
- Belizean Creole
- Jamaican Patois
- Bajan Creole
- Bermudian English
- Trinidadian Creole
- Antillean Creole