San Andrés Creole

San Andres-Old Providence Creole English is spoken by 20,000 - 30,000 ethnic Creoles in the Archipelago of San Andres, Old Providence and Santa Catalina, Colombia, located 180 kms off the Nicaraguan Coast as well as by emigrants on the Colombian mainland, the Caribbean Coast of Central America, and the United States. It is unclear to what extent the differences between the insular varieties (and even within more densely populated San Andres) are diatopic and not due to variation in terms of the creole continuum model. The key factor seems to be the relative basilectality of certain San Andres varieties vis-à-vis the acrolectality of Providence Creole English. The same applies to closely related Nicaraguan Creole English, which is mesolectal with regard to the cited creoles. Especially San Andres Creole English is first and foremost an off-shoot of Jamaican Creole as the foundations of the present-day population were laid around 1730 with the arrival of colonists (and slaves) from other parts of the British Caribbean, especially Jamaica, and directly from the British Isles (above all from Scotland and Ireland) and West Africa. The creole must have jelled during the second half of the 18th century. Both San Andrés and Providencia Creole English have contributed to the development of Central American English Creoles from the early 19th century onwards. The variety described in the survey is basilectal San Andres Creole.

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