Gullah in the diaspora: Historical and linguistic evidence from the Bahamas
The status of Gullah and Bahamian Creole English (BahCE) within the Atlantic English creoles and their historical relationship with African American Vernacular English (AAVE) have long been a matter of discussion. It was assumed that Gullah and BahCE are ‘sister’ varieties sharing an immediate ancestor in the eighteenth-century creole English spoken on plantations in the American South. We present historical and linguistic data, including a statistical analysis of 253 phonological, lexical, and grammatical features found in eight Atlantic English creoles, to show that Gullah and BahCE are indeed closely related — so closely in fact that BahCE must be considered a ‘diaspora variety’ not of AAVE but of Gullah.
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