Preserve Gullah: America's Unique Afro-English Creole

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The Gullah language is a unique Afro-English creole spoken by the Gullah people in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia in the United States. This article provides a concise overview of the basic history of the Gullah language, highlighting its origins, development, and cultural significance. Similar to the Appalachian English Dialect we talked about earlier, it is descended from English but it is a unique American language that should be part of linguistic history.

The Gullah language not only became a means of communication but also served as a cornerstone of Gullah culture and identity. The Gullah people maintained a strong sense of community, preserving their African heritage through language, music, storytelling, and other cultural practices. Gullah language, with its distinctive vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, continues to be a vital marker of Gullah identity and a testament to the resilience of African traditions in America that we at Mint Message talk about in an intro video you can watch if you prefer that to reading!

The Gullah language has a rich and fascinating history, rooted in the experiences of enslaved Africans and their unique cultural expressions. As an Afro-English Creole, it represents a distinctive linguistic and cultural heritage that has endured to this day. The preservation and celebration of the Gullah language are essential for honoring the Gullah people's contributions and for fostering a deeper understanding of African-American history and culture in the United States.


1. "Gullah." Dictionary of American Regional English, vol. 2, Harvard University Press, 1985, p. 245.

2. Poplack, Shana. "Gullah as an English Dialect: A Problem in Linguistic Description." American Speech, vol. 68, no. 4, 1993, pp. 331–350.

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