EL – 119
7 December 2015
The Gullah Language
The Gullah language is a pidgin language that developed from English and West African influences into a creole language andthat was passed down from one generation to the next. A pidgin language is a simplified form of a language that is used for communication between people that do not share a common language. The concept of language is a distinction that separates one group from another. Culture is usually divided by the different language that each group speaks; separation of language indicates a separation of culture. Language is a connection to culture through the transfer of information as well as traditions. The Gullah language is a cultural distinction that has lasted over time andthat has proven to be more than just broken English.
When the enslaved Africans were brought to America, the different cultures did not have an option other than to blend together as one. The first generation began to form a pidgin language, which combined African and American English in the slave ports and on the ships .(Wood, 173). A pidgin language is defined as “a language that is formed from a mixture of several languages when speakers of different languages need to talk to each other.” (Webster).
It was common for Africans to be able to speak parts of several different languages due to trading and having common language groups like Wolof and Bantu., tThis allowed connections to be made between enslaved persons; “many in the Senegal-Gambia region, for instance, were bilingual in both Wolofand Mandingo, the two most widespread languages of the region.” (Joyner, 14). The Gullah language evolved from the pidgin language that was created on the slave ships, and the Gullah languageit developed and changed over time, making it into a native creole language passed along to future generations which that still survives today.
Gullah is a now considered an actual language,. It was, however, formerly seen as...