Guinea-Bissau Creole


Guinea-Bissau Creole

Infobox Language
name = Guinea-Bissau Creole
nativename = "Kriol", "Kiriol"
states = Guinea-Bissau
speakers = 159,000; 600,000 as second language users [ [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=pov Ethnologue] ]
familycolor = Creole
fam1 = Creole language
fam2 = Portuguese Creole
fam3 = Afro-Portuguese Creole
fam4 = Upper Guinea Creole
iso2=cpp |iso3=pov

Bissau-Guinean Creole or (native name "kriol" or "kiriol" varying with dialects; "crioulo da Guiné" in Portuguese) is a language spoken by 60% of the population of Guinea-Bissau, where it is the lingua franca, and also in Senegal. It is a Portuguese-based creole language. It is an Upper Guinea creole, together with Cape Verdean.

Upper Guinea creoles are the oldest Portuguese-based creoles, first appearing around the Portuguese settlements along the northwest coast of Africa. Bissau-Guinean Creole is therefore among the first Portuguese Creoles. Portuguese merchants and settlers started to mix with locals almost immediately; this became a rule among Portuguese explorers and the main reason for the large number of Portuguese Creoles throughout the world. A small body of settlers called "lançados" ("launched"), contributed to the spread of the Portuguese language and influence by being the intermediaries between the Portuguese and natives.

There are three main dialects of this Creole in Guinea-Bissau and Senegal:
*Bissau and Bolama
*Bafata
*Cacheu–ZiguinchorThe Creole's substrate language is the language of the local peoples: Mandingas, Manjacos, Pepéis and others, but most of the lexicon (around 80%) comes from Portuguese.

The Creole is used as lingua franca in Guinea-Bissau; it is spoken by 60% of the population. Portuguese itself is spoken by 12-14%. There are 159,000 first language speakers in Guinea-Bissau (1996) and more than 0.6 million that use it as second language.

The dialect of Casamance (Ziguinchor), similar to the one of Cacheu (Guinea-Bissau) has some influence of French. "Fijus di Terra" (Port. "Filhos da Terra", Eng. Land’s Children) and "Fijus di Fidalgu" (Port. "Filhos de Fidalgo", Eng. Noble’s Children) speak it, all of them are known, locally, as "Portuguis" because they adopt European habits, are catholics and speak a Creole. They are descendants of Portuguese men and African women. Most of them still have Portuguese surnames, such as "da Silva", "Carvalho" or "Fonseca". Ziguinchor was, in fact, formed by Portugal in 1645, its name is derived from the Portuguese, "Cheguei e choram"Fact|date=December 2007 (Eng. I came and they cry), because the natives assumed that they had come to enslave themFact|date=December 2007. However the Portuguese implemented a base for trade and started to intermarry with African women. The former Kingdom of Casamance made a friendship alliance with the Portuguese and the local king adopted European lifestyle and there were Portuguese in his court . In 1899, the city was ceded to France and in the middle of the 20th century, the language spread to the surrounding area. After Senegal's independence from France, the Creole people were seen as friends of the French, and discrimination by the more numerous northern Wolof speaking community started, which has caused Casamance to struggle for independence since 1982. Today, although they continue to struggle, the movement is more placid and learning Portuguese became popular in SenegalFact|date=December 2007 because they see it has a link to their past. In Senegal, the Creole is the first language of at least 46,500 people (1998), it is mainly spoken in Ziguinchor but also there are speakers in other Casamance cities and in The Gambia.

References


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