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Sea Island Creole English

A language of USA

ISO 639-3: gul

Population 250,000 (2000). 7,000 to 10,000 monolinguals. Population includes 10,000 in New York City (1989 Holm). Ethnic population: 250,000.
Region Coastal region from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida, and especially on the Sea Islands off the Georgia coast. Small clusters in New York City and Detroit.
Alternate names   Gullah, Geechee
Dialects Northeast Florida Coast, Georgia, South Carolina. Intelligibility of other English-based creoles is undetermined. Very close to Bahamas Creole and Afro-Seminole. Lexical similarity 90% with Afro-Seminole.
Classification Creole, English based, Atlantic, Eastern, Northern
Language use Vigorous. Barely understandable with Standard English. Government bilingual education program begun.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 1% to 5%. Literacy rate in second language: 75% to 100%. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1994.
Comments Linguistic influences from Fula, Mende, upper Guinea coast, Gambia River area (Hancock 1987). Coastal. Swamp. Agriculturalists: rice, cotton.