Casamancese Creole - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2013

Casamancese Creole


Casamancese Creole (autoglossonym: kriyol or liŋgu kristoŋ ‘Christian language’) is spoken in the Senegalese Province of Lower Casamance (in French: Basse-Casamance) in some districts of the city of Ziguinchor (mainly Santhiaba, Boucotte-Corentas, Boudody, Escale, Kandé, and Néma) and in some surrounding villages; to the east: Boutout, Djifangor, Niaguis, Fanda, Agnack, Sindone, Adéane, and Koundioundou; to the west: Djibonker, Brin; and to the south: Mpak. Although mostsources, generally based on Chataigner (1963: 54), give a figure of over 50,000 speakers (which may well have been accurate in the 1960s, see §3), this number is probably much lower today. According to our own estimate, the number of native speakers does not exceed 10,000, but the total number of fluent speakers could be much higher (perhaps 20,000 people or more), as several Casamancese ethnic groups (mostly Nyuns, but also Manjakus and Mankanyas) still use Casamancese Creole as a lingua franca among [Catholic] Christians (hence the autoglossonym liŋgu kristoŋ ‘Christian language’ of Casamancese Creole). Many Casamancese Creole speakers live in other regions of Senegal. The area of Dakar is home to the most important community (c.2,500 speakers). Most Casamancese Creole speakers are also fluent in Wolof (the most important lingua franca in Senegal) or can speak it reasonably well; many have a fairly good knowledge of French (the official language of Senegal, also used in Catholic church services); and a fair number are proficient in one or several other African languages (mostly Nyun, Jola, Manding, Mankanya, or Manjaku). In terms of genealogical affiliation, Casamancese Creole is a member of the Upper Guinea Creoles group, which also includes Cape Verdean Creole, Papiamentu,1 and Guinea-Bissau Kriyol. The latter is closely related to Casamancese Creole , and there is a high degree of mutual intelligibility (see Intumbo et al., in this volume; these authors regard Casamancese Creole as a dialect of Guinea-Bissau Kriyol). Within Upper Guinea Creoles, Casamancese Creole makes up, together with Guinea-Bissau Kriyol and the extinct varieties of the Senegalese “Petite Côte” (Joal, and probably also Portudal (Saly) and Rufisque), the subgroup of continental Upper Guinea Creoles. Note that the southern Senegalese Province of Casamance is also home to a sizeable number of Guinea-Bissau Kriyol speakers (several thousand at least), who can be found in places such as the Tilène district of Ziguinchor and the city of Goudomp. Most of these are people who have have moved to Senegal from Guinea-Bissau since the 1950s.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
APICS-Quint_Biagui-Casamancese-Survey-2013.pdf (4.21 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Dates and versions

hal-01169463 , version 1 (29-06-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01169463 , version 1


Noël-Bernard Biagui,, Nicolas Quint. Casamancese Creole. MICHAELIS Susanne Maria; MAURER Philippe; HASPELMATH Martin; HUBER Magnus. The Survey of Pidgin & Creole Languages, 2 (3), Oxford University Press, pp.40-49, 2013, Volume II, Portuguese-based, Spanish based and French-based Languages, 978-0-19-969141-8. ⟨hal-01169463⟩
378 View
70 Download


Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More