Creole Language Family

An English-based creole language (often shortened to English creole) is a creole language that was significantly influenced by the English language.

Most English creoles were formed in English colonies, following the great expansion of British naval military power and trade in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Three Creole languages are spoken by native americans in the United States, one English based, one French based,  and one Pacific based.

Louisiana Creole French

Louisiana Creole French is a French-based creole language spoken by some of the Creole people of the state of Louisiana.

The language largely consists of elements of French and African languages, with some influence from Native American languages.

Speakers of Louisiana Creole are mainly concentrated in south and southwest Louisiana, where the population of Creolophones is distributed across the region.

There are also numbers of Creolophones in Natchitoches Parish on Cane River and sizable communities of Louisiana Creole-speakers in Southeast Texas Beaumont,Texas (Houston, Port Arthur, Galveston) and the Chicago area.

Louisiana Creole speakers in California reside in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino counties and in Northern California (San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento County, Plumas County, Tehama County, Mono County, and Yuba County.)

St. Martin Parish forms the heart of the Creole-speaking region. Other sizeable communities exist along Bayou Têche in St. Landry, Avoyelles, Iberia and St. Mary Parishes.

There are smaller communities on False River in Terrebone Parish, Pointe-Coupée Parish, and along the lower Mississippi River in Ascension, St. Charles, and St. James and St.John the Baptist parishes.

Afro-Seminole Creole

Alternate names: Afro-Seminole, Black Seminole, Seminole.

Dialects: Texas Afro-Seminole, Mexico Afro-Seminole. Separated from coastal Sea Island Creole between 1690 and 1760. Similar to Sea Island Creole and Bahamas Creole.

Lexical similarity: 90% with Sea Island Creole.

Afro-Seminole Creole is an English-based creole spoken by Black Seminoles in scattered communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and Northern Mexico.

Speakers of Afro-Seminole Creole live in Seminole County, Oklahoma and Brackettville, Texas in the United States and in Nacimiento de los Negros, Coahuila, in Mexico.

There are also a few communities in Florida.

There are about 200 speakers of the language.

Afro-Seminole Creole is related to the Gullah language, a creole spoken in the coastal region and Sea Islands of the U.S. states of South Carolina and Georgia.

Hawaii Creole English

Alternate names: Hawaii Pidgin, HCE, Pidgin Hawaii, Pidgin English, Hawaii Creole English, HCE, or simply Pidgin, is a Pacific creole language based in part on English, which is used by most “local” residents of Hawaii.

Pidgin (or Hawaii Creole) originated as a form of communication used between English speaking residents and non-English speaking immigrants in Hawaiʻi.

It supplanted the pidgin Hawaiian used on the plantations and elsewhere in Hawaiʻi. It has been influenced by many languages, including Portuguese, Hawaiian, and Cantonese.

As people of other language backgrounds were brought in to work on the plantations, such as Japanese, Filipinos, and Koreans, Pidgin acquired words from these languages.

It has also been influenced to a lesser degree by Spanish spoken by Mexican and Puerto Rican settlers in Hawaii.

Even today, Pidgin retains some influences from these languages. For example, the word “stay” in Pidgin has the same meaning as the Portuguese verb “ficar”, meaning “to stay” when referring to a temporary state or location.

Sometimes the structure of the language is like that of Portuguese grammar. For instance, “You like one knife?” means “Would you like a knife?”

The reason why the word “one” is used instead of “a” is because the word “um” in Portuguese has two meanings: “um” translates to “one” and “a” in English. The way people use the phrase “No can” (“não pode”) is Portuguese grammar, as well.

In Portuguese, the phrase “Você não pode fazer isso!” comes out in Pidgin as “You no can do dat!”, and in English as “You cannot do that!”

Pidgin words derived from Cantonese are also seen in other parts of America. For example, the word “Haa?” is also used by Chinese Americans outside of Hawaiʻi. The meaning is “Excuse me?” or “What did you say?”

Another word is “chop suey”, a popular dish throughout America. In Hawaiʻi, it can also mean that someone is a variety of ethnicities.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Pidgin started to be used outside the plantation between ethnic groups. Public school children learned Pidgin from their classmates, and eventually it became the primary language of most people in Hawaiʻi, replacing the original languages.

For this reason, linguists generally consider Hawaiian Pidgin to be a creole language.

Hawiain Creole is spoken by 100,000 to 200,000 people. It is the native speech of a large number of those born or brought up in Hawaii, regardless of racial origin. 50% of children in Hawaii do not speak English as their first language.

Creole Language Family Trees

Creole (82)

Afrikaans based (2)

     Oorlams (South Africa)

     Tsotsitaal (South Africa)

Arabic based (3)

     Arabic, Babalia Creole (Chad) Arabic

     Sudanese Creole (Sudan) Nubi (Uganda)

     Assamese based (1) Naga Pidgin (India)

Dutch based (5)

     Berbice Creole Dutch (Guyana)

     Javindo (Indonesia (Java and Bali))

     Negerhollands (U.S. Virgin Islands)

     Petjo (Indonesia (Java and Bali))

     Sk epi Creole Dutch (Guyana)

English based (31)

     Atlantic (23)

    Eastern (12)

    Northern (3)

         Afro-Seminole Creole (United States)

        Bahamas Creole English (Bahamas)

        Sea Island Creole English (United States)

     Southern (8)

          Turks and Caicos Creole English (Turks and Caicos Islands)

          Krio (4) 

                Fernando Po Creole English (Equatorial Guinea) 

                Krio (Sierra Leone) Pidgin

               Cameroon (Cameroon) Pidgin

               Nigerian (Nigeria)

     Suriname (3)

     Ndyuka (2)

     Sranan (Suriname)

Western (4)

     Belize Kriol English (Belize)

     Islander Creole English (Colombia)

     Jamaican Creole English (Jamaica)

     Nicaragua Creole English (Nicaragua)

Pacific (7)

     Melanesian (1)

          Pijin (Solomon Islands)

     Hawaii Creole English (United States)

     Kriol (Australia)

     Ngatik Men’s Creole (Micronesia)

     Pitcairn-Norfolk (Norfolk Island)

     Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinea)

     Torres Strait Creole (Australia)

     Saramaccan (Suriname)

English-based (1)

Pacific (1)

     Bislama (Vanuatu)

French based (11)

     Saint Lucian Creole French (Saint Lucia)

     Guianese Creole French (French Guiana)

     Haitian (Haiti)

     Karipúna Creole French (Brazil)

     Louisiana Creole French (United States)

     Guadeloupean Creole French (Guadeloupe)

     Morisyen (Mauritius)

     Réunion Creole French (Réunion)

     San Miguel Creole French(Panama)

      Seselwa Creole French (Seychelles)

      Tayo (New Caledonia)

German based (1)

     Unserdeutsch (Papua New Guinea)

Hindi based (1)

     Andaman Creole Hindi (India)

Iberian based (1)

     Papiamentu (Netherlands Antilles)

Kongo based (2)

     Kituba (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

     Kituba (Congo)

Malay based (4)

     Indonesian, Peranakan (Indonesia (Java and Bali))

     Malaccan Creole Malay (Malaysia (Peninsular))

     Malay, Baba (Singapore)

     Sri Lankan Creole Malay (Sri Lanka)

Ngbandi based (2)

     Sango (Central African Republic)

     Sango, Riverain (Central African Republic)

Portuguese based (13)

     Angolar (São Tomé e Príncipe)

     Cafundo Creole (Brazil)

     Crioulo, Upper Guinea (Guinea-Bissau)

     Fa D’ambu (Equatorial Guinea)

     Indo-Portuguese (India)

     Kabuverdianu(Cape Verde Islands)

     Korlai Creole Portuguese (India)

     Macanese (China)

     Malaccan Creole Portuguese (Malaysia (Peninsular))

     Pidgin, Timor (East Timor)

     Principense (São Tomé e Príncipe)

     Sãotomense (São Tomé e Príncipe)

     Ternateño (Indonesia (Maluku)

Spanish based (2)

     Chavacano (Philippines)

     Palenquero (Colombia)

Swahili based (1)

     Cutchi-Swahili (Kenya)

Tetun based (1)

     Tetun Dili (East Timor)