Gullah

(redirected from Gullahs)
Also found in: Dictionary.

Gullah

(gŭl`ə), a creole languagecreole language
, any language that began as a pidgin but was later adopted as the mother tongue by a people in place of the original mother tongue or tongues. Examples are the Gullah of South Carolina and Georgia (based on English), the creole of Haiti (based on French), and
..... Click the link for more information.
 formerly spoken by the Gullah, an African-American community of the Sea IslandsSea Islands,
chain of more than 100 low islands off the Atlantic coast of S.C., Ga., and N Fla., extending from the Santee River to the St. Johns River. The ocean side of the islands is generally sandy; the side facing the mainland is marshy.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the Middle Atlantic coast of the United States. The word is probably a corruption of the African Gola or Gora, names of African tribes living in Liberia, but it may also be derived from Angola, whence many of the Gullahs' ancestors came. The Gullah dialect, spoken now by only a few hundred people, is a mixture of 17th- and 18th-century English and of a number of West African languages (among them Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba). The African influence on Gullah can be seen in the phonology, vocabulary, and grammar. Some African words in Gullah have entered American English, including goober ("peanut"), gumbo ("okra"), and voodoo ("witchcraft"). Du Bose Heyward's novel Porgy (1925), upon which Gershwin's opera is based, was written in the Gullah dialect.

Bibliography

See M. Crum, Gullah (1940); L. D. Turner, Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect (1973).

References in periodicals archive ?
Slovenly and careless of speech, these Gullahs seized upon the peasant English used by some of the early colonists and by the white servants of the wealthier colonists, wrapped their clumsy tongues about it as well as they could, and, enriched with certain expressive African words, it issued through their flat noses and thick lips as so workable a form of speech that it was gradually adopted by the other slaves and became in time the accepted Negro speech of the lower districts of South Carolina and Georgia.
A Peculiar People" Slave Religion and Community-Culture Among the Gullahs.
After years of ignoring the Gullahs, it seemed the American mainstream was fascinated with my roots.
The Gullahs have made several visits to Bunce; prominent among them was the "homecoming" of Maty Moran and her family in 1997.
One of the Gullah settlements includes Hilton Head Island which has now become a holiday resort and golf mecca - there are 25 courses to choose from.
The Gullahs, a term used to refer both to the language and culture of the group of (former) African slaves who lived along the Carolina and Georgia coasts, remained a relatively homogenous group well into the twentieth century, largely escaping the culturally deracinating effects of dispersion among Americans of African descent.
Traditional Gullahs (1st Circle): Traditional Gullahs are the modern descendants of the historic Gullah people who have remained in the low country region to the present day and continue with their traditional Gullah language and culture to one extent or another.
19) This variety of Black English may be compared to what linguists refer to as "decreolized Gullah," the remnant of a once viable means of communication among black slave populations of predominant Southern provenance.
Slovenly and careless of speech, these Gullahs seized upon the peasant English used by some of the early settlers and by the white servants of the wealthier colonists, wrapped their clumsy tongues about it as well as they could, and, enriched with certain expressive African words, it issued through their flat noses and thick lips as so workable a form of speech that it was gradually adopted by the other slaves and became in time the accepted Negro speech of the lower districts of South Carolina and Georgia.
Deeply wooded areas are thought by the Gullahs to be sacred because the spirits of the ancestors reside there (Jones-Jackson 27).
Hopefully, for teachers who are just beginning their careers in areas of the United States where different languages are spoken and even written, a greater understanding of the Gullah language will be enhanced with the Gullah 220.
Yet their songs do not indicate that Gullah thought of death with fear, foreboding, or morbidity" (82).