English-based creole languages

An English-based creole language (often shortened to English creole) is a creole language for which English was the lexifier, meaning that at the time of its formation the vocabulary of English served as the basis for the majority of the creole's lexicon.[1] Most English creoles were formed in British colonies, following the great expansion of British naval military power and trade in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The main categories of English-based creoles are Atlantic (the Americas and Africa) and Pacific (Asia and Oceania).

Over 76.5 million people estimated globally speak some form of English-based creole. Sierra Leone, Malaysia, Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, and Singapore have the largest concentrations of creole speakers.


It is disputed to what extent the various English-based creoles of the world share a common origin. The monogenesis hypothesis[2][3] posits that a single language, commonly called proto–Pidgin English, spoken along the West African coast in the early sixteenth century, was ancestral to most or all of the Atlantic creoles (the English creoles of both West Africa and the Americas).

Table of creole languagesEdit

Name Country Number of speakers[4] Notes


Western CaribbeanEdit

Bahamian Creole   Bahamas 400,000 (2017)
Turks and Caicos Creole English   Turks and Caicos 10,700 (1995)
Jamaican Patois   Jamaica 2,670,000 (2001)~3,035,000
Belizean Creole   Belize L1 Users: 170,000 (2014) L2 Users: 300,000 (2014)
Miskito Coast Creole   Nicaragua 30,000 (2001) Dialect: Rama Cay Creole
Limonese Creole   Costa Rica 55,500 (1986)
Bocas del Toro Creole   Panama 268,000 (2000)
San Andrés–Providencia Creole   Colombia 33,000 (1995)

Eastern CaribbeanEdit

Virgin Islands Creole   US Virgin Islands

  British Virgin Islands

  Sint Maarten


  Sint Eustatius


52,300 (1980)~76,500
Anguillan Creole   Anguilla 11,500 (2001)
Antiguan Creole   Antigua and Barbuda 67,000 (2001)~147,520
Saint Kitts Creole   Saint Kitts and Nevis 39,000 (1998)
Montserrat Creole   Montserrat 3,820 (2011)
Vincentian Creole   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 138,000 (1989)
Grenadian Creole   Grenada 89,200 (2001)
Tobagonian Creole   Trinidad and Tobago 300,000 (2011)
Trinidadian Creole   Trinidad and Tobago 1,000,000 (2011)
Bajan Creole   Barbados 256,000 (1999)
Guyanese Creole   Guyana 650,000~682,000
Sranan Tongo   Suriname L1 users: 67,300 (2013)~410,700 L2 users: 300,000
Saramaccan   Suriname 14,100 (2013)~17,100
Ndyuka   Suriname 21,700 (2013)~39,700. Dialects: Aluku, Paramaccan
Kwinti   Suriname 200 (2005)

United StatesEdit

Gullah (Afro-Seminole Creole)   United States 350 (2010) Ethnic population: 250,000

West AfricaEdit

Krio   Sierra Leone L1 users: 830,000 (2022)[5][6] L2 users: 7,470,000 (2022)[5][7]
Kreyol   Liberia 1,500,000 (L2; 1984)
Ghanaian Pidgin   Ghana 5,000,000 (2011) L2 users: 2,000 (1990)
Nigerian Pidgin   Nigeria 30,000,000 (2005)
Cameroonian Pidgin   Cameroon 2,000,000 (L2; 1989)
Equatorial Guinean Pidgin   Equatorial Guinea 6,000 (2011) L2 users: 70,000 (2011)


Hawaiian Pidgin   Hawaii 600,000 (2012) 100,000 on the US mainland. L2 users: 400,000
Ngatikese Creole   Micronesia 700
Tok Pisin   Papua New Guinea 122,000 (2004) L2 users: 9,000,000 (likely as of 2020)
Pijin   Solomon Islands 24,400 (1999) L2 users: 307,000 (1999)
Bislama   Vanuatu 10,000 (2011) L2 users: 200,000
Pitcairn-Norfolk   Pitcairn

  Norfolk Island

430 (2011)~532 Almost no L2 users. Has been classified as an Atlantic Creole based on internal structure.[8]
Australian Kriol   Australia 4,200 (2006) L2 users: 10,000 (1991)
Torres Strait Creole   Australia 6,040 (2006)
Bonin English   Japan Possibly 1,000–2,000 (2004)
Singlish   Singapore 2,000,000–3,000,000
Manglish   Malaysia 3,000,000-5,000,000



Not strictly creoles, but sometimes called thus:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Velupillai, Viveka (2015). Pidgins, Creoles and Mixed Languages. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 519. ISBN 978-90-272-5272-2.
  2. ^ Hancock, I. F. (1969). "A provisional comparison of the English-based Atlantic creoles". African Language Review. 8: 7–72.
  3. ^ Gilman, Charles (1978). "A Comparison of Jamaican Creole and Cameroon Pidgin English". English Studies. 59: 57–65. doi:10.1080/00138387808597871.
  4. ^ Simons, Gary F; Fennig, Charles D, eds. (2017). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (20th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International.
  5. ^ a b "CIA World Factbook (2022)". www.cia.gov.
  6. ^ "Sierra Leone Population (LIVE)". www.worldometers.info.
  7. ^ "Translators without borders: Language data for Sierra Leone". www.translatorswithoutborders.org.
  8. ^ Avram, Andrei (2003). "Pitkern and Norfolk revisited". English Today. 19 (1): 44–49. doi:10.1017/S0266078403003092. S2CID 144835575.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit