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