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(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
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 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.
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 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.


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

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References in periodicals archive ?
Robinson infuses a good bit of local dialect to flavor the book, along with a helpful glossary of Gullah words and phrases.
The characters are Gullah, whose dialect has maintained its lilting West African sound and can be heard today on the streets of Charleston.
The legacy of that body of research is the area's contemporary identification as a Gullah community.
For Dash, whose landmark indie feature "Daughters of the Dust," about three generations of Gullah women on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, first screened at Sundance in 1991, the film's newly restored release print and reissue from Cohen Media Group, means that "a whole new generation of people" will finally get to see it in the way she originally intended.
Shotguns remain loaded and polished, a Gullah man knows where his land
And though Wedding Band--set in a Gullah section of Charleston not far from the Catfish Row of Porgy and Bess--has its share of rich comic characters, it's ultimately closer to a tragedy.
Especially interesting is her heritage and experience among the African-American Gullah people of South Carolina that enriches her broad and deep grasp of the history of psychological dream research over the decades (Freud and Jung), and the physiological science of the dreaming mind.
Pacific coast; the Adirondacks in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; early California settlement; Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School; Gullah culture; the Shakers; the Hudson River in American history; the Industrial Revolution; Zora Neale Hurston; colonial New England; Mississippi Delta history and culture; mining in the Far West; the Underground Railroad; Kentucky during the Civil War; the transcontinental railroad; and the War of 1812.
Lorenzo Turner, one of the major proponents of Herskovits's position, in his study of the Gullah language spoken by blacks living on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia, wrote that Americans who have attempted to explain Gullah have greatly underestimated the extent of the African element.
The watercolor portraits span 20 years of Whyte's immersion in the African American Gullah community on Johns Island in South Carolina, centering on the church picnics, household chores, and quilt making of a group of senior Gullah women and their daughters and granddaughters.
Mary Ellen Junda and Robert Stephens of the University of Connecticut are hoping to preserve Gullah culture through a series of workshops next year with 80 elementary and high school teachers, the Associated Press reports.