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Gullah language

Gullah, also called Sea Island Creole English[1] [2] and Geechee, is a creole language spoken by the Gullah people (also called Geechees within the community), an African-American population living on the Sea Islands and in the coastal regions of the American states of South Carolina, Georgia and northeast Florida (this includes Charleston and Savannah). Closely related varieties are spoken in the Bahamas, namely the same language.[2]

The Gullah language is based on different varieties of English and languages of West and Central Africa.

Scholars have proposed a number of theories about the origins of Gullah and its development:

Gullah developed independently on the Sea Islands off the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida throughout the 18th and 19th centuries among enslaved Africans. They developed a language that combined grammatical, phonological, and lexical features of the non-standard English varieties spoken by white slaveholders and farmers in that region of the United States along with those from numerous Western and Central African languages. According to this view, Gullah developed separately, or distinctly, from African American English and varieties of English spoken in the South.

Some enslaved Africans spoke a Guinea Coast Creole English (also called West African Pidgin English) before being forcibly relocated to the Americas. Guinea Coast Creole English was one of many languages spoken along the West African coast during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as a language of trade between Europeans and Africans and among multilingual Africans. It seems to have been prevalent in British coastal slave trading centers such as James Island, Bunce Island, Elmina Castle, Cape Coast Castle and Anomabu. This theory of Gullahs origins and development follows the monogenetic theory of creole development and the domestic origin hypothesis of English-based creoles.

The vocabulary of Gullah comes primarily from English, but there are numerous words of African origin for which scholars have yet to

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