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. New York: New York UP, 1988.
Because the documentary served as my guide, I wanted to meet the scholars who had linked the Gullahs to Sierra Leone and those who had organized the epic homecoming.
Opala said that until recently his and other scholars' research had connected the Gullahs to Sierra Leone in only a very general way.
It sent thousands of African rice farmers into bondage in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida." 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.
"Gullah Attitudes toward Life and Death." Africanisms in American Culture.
Modern Gullahs (2nd Circle): Modern Gullahs fall into two groups: One that has never lost its connection to Gullah lands, and the other that has never lost its knowledge of Gullah language and culture.
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.
"A Peculiar People": Slave Religion and Community-Culture Among the Gullahs. New York: New York Up, 1988.
The Gullah language is what linguists call an English-based Creole language.
Principles of rural sociology and interpersonal communication provide the foundation for a study of "Gullah" culture.