Talk:Cape Verdean Creole

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Mistakes and incorrectionsEdit

I would like to propose that changes should be made in this page, due to the fact that it has incorrections and/or statements that reveal serious errors.

First, concerning the language family, it could be expanded. Perhaps, a more complete genetic classification to be shown could be:

Portuguese Creoles
Afro-Portuguese Creoles
Upper Guinea Creoles
Cape Verdean Creole

Second, the rest of the article contains a lot of statements that, by their nature, show that they were made with a lack of deep knowledge of Cape Verdean Creole, or that they were made based only on gossips, with no scientific base or documentation to prove it. Being Wikipedia a serious site, one should avoid making statements without specifying which are the sources and avoid making statements that are near to chauvinism, xenophobism or prejudgemental attitudes.

In detail:

1 - “...whose extremes lie at the islands of Santiago and Santo Antão.”. It’s needed to specify why and which is the source.
2 - The influence of West African languages is still in study, it was not proved yet.
3 - “Badiu” is the colloquial term to refer an inhabitant (male) of Santiago (only), and also the Creole variety spoken in that island. If one is not familiarized with the usage of the term “Badiu” it should be avoided because it could be offensive in certain contexts. The same goes for the term “Sampadjudu”. The linguistic scholars in Cape Verde call the two branches “Sotavento Creoles” and “Barlavento Creoles”.
4 - “A characteristic feature of the Barlavento Creoles is their use of the palato alveolar fricative sound.”. That’s imprecise. All the variants have palato alveolar fricatives. Check the words «côxa» [ˈkoʃɐ] e «lója» [ˈlɔʒɐ] which are pronounced practically the same way in all islands. What the author of that statement probably wanted to say is that in Santo Antão and São Vicente variants the implosive [s] and [z] sounds are palatalized. While in the rest of the islands words like «fésta» and «gósga» are pronounced [ˈfɛstɐ] e [ˈɡɔzɡɐ] respectively, in Santo Antão and São Vicente they are pronounced [ˈfɛʃtɐ] and [ˈɡɔʒɡɐ]. But only in Santo Antão and São Vicente, the other Barlavento islands pronounce the implosive [s] and [z] like the Sotavento islands.
5 - The rural and urban varieties are not present only in Santiago but in all other islands as well. It is not the case of different dialects but rather the case of basilects and acrolects.
6 - “ great as the differences between Portuguese and Spanish...”. The scholars in Cape Verde consider the Cape Verdean Creoles varieties as the same language. To consider the varieties of Creole as different languages would be the same as considering the English from London and the English from New York as different languages...! The 9 varieties of Creole are justifiably different dialects, but the scholars in Cape Verde normally call them “variants” (“variantes” in Portuguese) rather than “dialects”.
7 - “French is (...) the most popular learning language...”. There is no document, no survey, no study that shows that French is the most “popular” learning language in school.
8 - The Santiago variant is “dominant” in terms of number of speakers (nearly 50% of the population, estimated), not because “it’s better” or “it has a social status”.
9 - The Santiago variant is not to become the country’s official language. A discussion is open about the standardization (not officialization) of the language around two varieties: the Santiago Creole and the São Vicente Creole. If this goes ahead, the Cape Verdean Creole will become a pluricentric language.
10 - The usage of Portuguese in the classroom is decreed by law.
11 - There is no official organism nor a recognized entity that stipulated that Mindelo is “Cape Verde’s cultural capital”.
12 - “...numerous parallels between the Cape Verdean Creoles and the West African languages...”. As it was said before, that wasn’t proved yet. Besides, some arguments presented are incorrect:
- in Cape Verdean Creole there is a distinction of voice: ês tâ fazê (they do) - active voice; tâ fazêdu (it’s done) - passive voice;
- there are verbal adjectives but they are rare;
- the intonation is used in interrogative sentences in almost every language;
- there is repetition of words, but is rare;
- the presence of African language morphological structures needs to be proved;
13 – “The language of Santiago is very close to the Guinea Bissau Creole...”. That’s a myth. I am presently preparing a text where I explain the origins of that myth.
14 - The ALUPEC is a writing convention only, based on a phonetic writing system. It only stipulates which letter are to be used to represent the sounds, it does not stipulate the orthographic rules for each words. Since the language is not standardized yet, even the persons writing in ALUPEC have not a uniform orthography. The ALUPEC has received a massive rejection among the Cape Verdeans because it shocks against the orthographic traditions of the Portuguese language.

Third, there is no need to repeat the designation of the language. The correct name in English is “Cape Verdean Creole”. The name “Cape Verdean” (“Cabo-verdiano” in Portuguese; “Kabuverdianu / Kab’verdian” in Creole) has been proposed for whenever the language will be standardized. However, in Cape Verde the language is simply known as “Creole”. The word “Crioulo” is in Portuguese. “Criolu / Kriolu” and “Criol / Kriol” are the same word in Cape Verdean Creole. The difference in writing only reflects the difference between the Southern variants and the Northern variants that lose the unstressed “u” at the end. The difference between “Criolu / Criol” and “Kriolu / Kriol” reflects only different writing conventions: the traditional writing with “c” and the ALUPEC convention with “k”.

C. A. Duarte 13:03, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with all of those changes except #13. I haven't seen your text (I would love to though, when its published) and I don't have any etymology to back me up, but I've found conversations in Guinea-Bissau Krioulu to be perfectly manageable with a bit of concentration. The two creoles aren't identical, but they are very, very close. - Aether8m

Myth # 1: the Santiago Creole is closer to Guinea Bissau CreoleEdit

In the main article there is a statement that says “The language of Santiago is also very close to the creole of Guinea-Bissau (…), with some intelligibility.” Although there is in fact some intelligibility, the creole from Santiago is not closer to the Creole from Guinea Bissau, than to other Creoles of Cape Verde, as some people would claim. It’s a myth, and for the sake of the truth I believe it’s pertinent, although in a very short way, I explain why. The same article in portuguese has suffered some radical improvements, and I am looking forward to see the same improvements in this article, in order to help my explanations here to be clearer.

There are some characteristics of Santiago Creole (STC) that, in spite of all its specificities, get it closer to all Creoles from the other islands of Cape Verde. In the other hand, the Guinea Bissau Creole (GBC) have some characteristics that make it to be different from all Creoles from the other islands of Cape Verde, what makes us to think that it is a different language. That goes in accordance with the ideas of António Carreira (O crioulo de Cabo Verde – Surto e expansão, 1982), that claims that the Creoles from Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau descend from the same basis, but they were set apart before the Creole from Cape Verde has diverged into the different forms within the islands.

1 – In the language structure there are the following differences:

- for the present continuous tense, the STC uses the form sâ tâ while the GBC uses ; for ex., to say “I am writing” the STC says m’ sâ tâ scrêbi while the CGB says m’ ná scríbi;
- for the past, the particle ba is joined to the verb in STC while in GBC is separated from the verb: nú tâ screbêba in STC, nô tá scríbi bá in GBC (we wrote / we use to write); that becomes clearer when the verb is conjugated with a pronoun: nú tâ screbêba-el in STC, nô tá scribí-’l bá in GBC (we wrote it / we use to write it);
- in STC, the “s” for the plural appears in the 1st grammatical category: nhâs fídju (my sons), sís cása (their houses); in GBC the “s” for the plural appears in the noun: nhá fídjus (my sons), sê cássas (their houses);
- the STC distinguishes between stressed personal pronouns and unstressed ones: nôs, nú stâ lí (us, we are here); in GBC there is no such distinction;

2 – In the phonetics there are the following differences:

- the STC distinguishes between open vowels and closed vowels: the “e” of the word cadêra [e] (chair), is different from the “e” of the word péli [ɛ] (skin), the “o” of the word lôça [o] (dish) is different from the “o” of the word óbu [ɔ] (egg), the 1st “a” of the word cása [a] (house) is different from the 2nd “a” [ɐ]; the GBC does not distinguish between open and closed vowels: the “e” of the word cadêra [e], is the same as the “e” of the word pêli, the “o” of the word lôça [o] is the same as the “o” of the word ôbu, the 1st “a” of the word cássa [a] is the same as the 2nd “a”;
- there is a phonetic phenomenon that is called metaphony, that is the shift of the timbre of the stressed vowel due to the influence of the final vowel; in STC the final “a” makes the closed vowels “e” and “o” in Portuguese to become open vowels in Creole: mésa (table — with an open vowel instead of a closed one), bóca (mouth — with an open vowel instead of a closed one); in GBC there is also metaphony but in a completely different context, the “e” and the “o” shift to “i” and “u” respectively when the word ends with “i”, “u” or consonant: líti (milk), pítu (chest), mís (month), cúrpu (body), cúri (to run), dur (pain); compare this six last words with STC lêti, pêtu, mês, côrpu, córri, dôr;
- in GBC there are no palatal fricatives, they are replaced by “s” or “dj”: pís (fish), aôs (today), rándja (to find);

3 – In the vocabulary there are the following differences:

- there are some words that have different forms: mâi in STC, mamê in GBC (mother); nhôs in STS, bôs in GBC (you – plural); pâi in STC, papê in GBC (father); pâpia in STC, fála in GBC (to speak); trabádja in STC, tárbadja in GBC (to work), trazê-’s in STC, tíssi êlis in GBC (to bring them);
- there are some words that seem to be the same but they have different meanings: mêsti in STC means “to need”, místi in GBC means “to want”; ríba in STC means “upon”, ríba in GBC means “to come back”; tabánca in STC is a traditional parade, tabánca in GBC means “village”;
- there are some words in GBC that are completely unknown in STC: dídu, djumbái, mándjua, náli, pátchari, etc.; in the other hand, there are some words in STC that are typical from Cape Verde: camóca, fúrna, morábi, trapítchi, etc.

Everything that has been said before about the STC is basically the same to all of the Creoles from Cape Verde. If so, where does this myth come from?

1 – There are some phonetic similarities that make the STC to be apparently close to GBC:

- in STC the verbs are stressed in the before the last syllable, in GBC the verbs are stressed in the first syllable; when it is a two-syllable verb there is a coincidence: cánta in STC, cánta in GBC (to sing); when the verb has more than two syllable the difference can be noticed: discánsa in STC, díscansa in GBC (to rest);
- in GBC there are no voiced sibilants ([z] or [ʒ]); some speakers of STC pronounce the voiced sibilants as voiceless cássa instead of cása (house), ôxi instead of ôji (today), but that pronunciation is not generalized, only some speakers practice it:
- in GBC there is no distinction between the sounds [ɾ] and [r]; cáru (expensive) and cáru (car) are pronounced the same way; some speakers of STC do not make the distinction between [ɾ] e [r], but again, that pronunciation is not generalized, only some speakers practice it:

2 – Any Cape Verdean knows that the first island to be inhabited was Santiago, from there the (incorrect) idea was created that “everything that is more African is in Santiago” and/or “everything that is in Santiago is more African”. Furthermore, a lot of sources say that “Cape Verde was inhabited with slaves from Guinea”. Some people do not notice that “Guinea” refers to the Guinea Coast of Africa and not to Guinea Bissau.

3 – Speakers of GBC claim to have better understanding of STC that of the remainders Cape Verdean Creoles. In our interpretation that is easily understandable by the fact that 50% of the Cape Verdeans speak the STC, what makes us to think that is more probable that the first contact of a foreign speaker with the Cape Verdean Creole will be in STC.

After everything that has been exposed, we can only conclude one thing: the Creole of Santiago is with no doubt a Cape Verdean Creole, and it is so apart from the Guinea Bissau Creole as any of the other Cape Verdean Creoles. The statements that try by force to approach the Santiago Creole to the Guinea Bissau Creole have little fundament.

C. A. Duarte

Myth # 2: the Barlavento Creoles are closer to PortugueseEdit

A second myth about the Creole, largely spread, is that “the Barlavento Creoles are closer to Portuguese”. Also, for the sake of the truth, I intend to explain why those statements have no ground.

First, I don’t know any “study” that “proves that the Barlavento Creoles are closer to Portuguese”. By the contrary, every work I had the chance to read show that all varieties of Cape Verdean Creole have evolved from the same base.

Some people forget that the contribution of the Portuguese language in Creole is the XV century Portuguese and not contemporary Portuguese.

At last, some people when trying to seek similarities between Barlavento Creoles and Portuguese, take as reference European Portuguese, and forget that certain characteristics of European Portuguese have started to appear in the XVII century, i.e., after the beginning of the formation of Creole.

If so, where does this myth come from?

1 – The unstressed vowels [i] and [u] frequently disappear in Barlavento Creoles. This absence of sound can easily be confused with the [ɨ] vowel of contemporary European Portuguese, which is pronounced nearly voiceless (êss’ [es] “this” can be confused with Portuguese esse [ˈesɨ], fôm’ [fom] “hunger” can be confused with Portuguese fome [ˈfɔmɨ]). Nevertheless, that absence of sound has no relation with the vowel written “e” in Portuguese (look Myth #3).

2 – While in Sotavento Creoles the sound [v] of Portuguese is almost totally represented by [b] (bendê “to sell”, from Portuguese vender), in Barlavento it is partially represented by [v] (vendê). It is an ultracorrection phenomenon, i.e. e., the speakers of Creole when confronted with Portuguese forms with [v], have “corrected” the Creole forms replacing [b] by [v]. The proof of this phenomenon is the existence of words in which the [b] has been replaced by [v], even when in Portuguese never existed [v]! (ex.: gavá “to praise” in Santo Antão, from Portuguese gabar)

3 – Speaking in Santo Antão, the Creole from Santo Antão (and consequently, the Creole form São Vicente) has always been more permeable to ultracorrections. That can be verified through the replacement of Creole words by other words imported from Portuguese. For instance, dzê and falá have replaced flâ and papiâ (“to tell” and “to speak”, respectively).

4 – Many people identify the Barlavento Creoles with the São Vicente Creole. They are not aware that there are little differences between all Barlavento Creoles, and that the Santo Antão Creole and São Vicente Creole possess unique characteristics that set them apart from the other Creoles. One of these characteristics is something I mentioned before, that is the manner how the implosive [s] and [z] sounds are pronounced, that in fact are pronounced like in European Portuguese, but differently from the other Creoles, and most of all, differently from how it was pronounced in XV century Portuguese!

5 – It is frequent the speakers with Portuguese education to put in Portuguese words when speaking Creole. It is a decreolization phenomenon, but that happens in all Creoles, there is no proof that that phenomenon is stronger in Barlavento Creoles.

After all this, if all the Creoles descend from a common base that has appeared in the XV century, how is it possible the Barlavento Creoles to be closer to nowadays European Portuguese? That statement has no foundation. The combination of all the phenomena cited above can be interpreted as Portuguese intromission in Creole, i.e., interference from a foreign language. However, intromission does not mean to be closer. In the English Language there are a lot of words of French origin, but this does not mean that English is closer to French!

C. A. Duarte


  • The article still has problems. it presents all Cape verdean creoles has one language. It is one view, but often there is the view that these are different creole languages. If you put together all cape verdean creoles you can also group other Portuguese creoles that share similarities.
  • There is a study stating that São Vicente Creole, may not be a Creole, but a semi-creole, something similar to what happened in Asia. That information disappeared from wikipedia, just like the statement that these creoles may not be a single language but a group of languages. and that is an academic study done by an academic from São Vicente in a Portuguese university. But that info and link was lost somewhere.

This article needs to be reviewed by someone who understands about the subject and has more sources. --Pedro (talk) 09:19, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, Pedro, although with little time, I couldn't help myself from replying: what “academic study”? Ten Islands (talk) 09:03, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
If you had been paying attention, you'd know that's a pointless question. According to Pedro that study was in the article, but now the link is gone and Pedro cannot find it again. So if you want an answer, plough through the page history. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Myth # 3: in Barlavento Creoles the “o” is “e”Edit

First, there is a big confusion here. People that usually claim the statement above are confusing the spelling with the pronunciation. What they probably intend to say is that “the sound [u] of European Portuguese (frequently written “o” when it is not stressed) is pronounced [ɨ] (written “e” in European Portuguese)”.

Second, that is a wrong interpretation. The sound [ɨ] (like the “e” in the Portuguese word levar in European pronunciation) does not exist in Creole. The word dôç’ (from Portuguese doce) in Barlavento Creoles (BVC) is pronounced [dos] (one syllable); the word cabêl’ (from Portuguese cabelo) is pronounced [kɐˈbel] (two syllables).

Third, what really disappears in BVC are the unstressed sounds [i] and [u], and not the letters “e” and “o”:

1 – In Portuguese (PT) words that possessed unstressed [i] and [u], those sounds disappear in BVC:
PT: braço, de, pele, pisado, sinal, arrumar;
BVC: bróç, d, pêl, psód, snál, r;
Not to forget is that the final “e” was pronounced in the XV century like [i] (like it is still pronounced in Brazil).
2 – Portuguese words that possessed unstressed [e] and [o] are generally represented by [e] and [o] in BVC:
PT: bocado, correr, gemada, meter, morada, pesado;
BVC: bocód’, corrê, gemáda, me, moráda, pesód’;
3 – The cases in which the sounds [e] and [o] from PT disappear in BVC are cases in which those sounds were modified to [i] and [u] in all Creoles:
PT: comadre, comer, cozinha, deixar, menino, veludo;
BVC: cmádr’, c, czínha, d, mnín’, vlúd’;
A simple comparison with Sotavento Creoles (SVC) corroborates it:
SVC: cumádri, cu, cuzínha, di, minínu, vilúdu;

If so, where does this myth come from? Many BVC speakers, when speaking Portuguese, don’t pronounce the unstressed sounds [i], [ɨ], and [u]. After that, they make an inverse analogy: they identify the absence of sound in BVC with the spelling “e” in PT. That’s why it is frequent, in BVC writing, to people use the letter “e” to avoid the clash between consonants and/or to avoid words ending by consonant:
PT: cachorro, crioulo, esse, amolgado, inocente, saudade:
BVC: catchorre, criole, esse, molgode, nocente, sodade;

Another proof of this big confusion is the inconsistency in spelling by some: we can easily find spelled esse or criole as we can find spelled ess or criol. Sometimes we can even find written the letter “e” in cases which has never existed a vowel in PT (!):beloque [blok] (from PT bloco), adevogode [ɐdvoˈɡɔd] (from PT advogado).

C. A. Duarte

  • Duarte, edite o artigo! estou realmente impressionado com o seu texto, a página de discussão está mais completa que o próprio artigo. Edite o artigo livremente e inclua tudo o que disse aqui, a wikipedia agradece. -Pedro 14:02, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Assino por baixo! Waldir 22:19, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Please, be patient! Changes are coming! TenIslands 11:17, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


I have made some significant changes as it has been suggested in this discussion. The article is not finished, but I humbly believe that the essential is there. TenIslands 11:26, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

you did a great job! Waldir 23:55, 28 April 2007 (UTC)


Yesterday I inserted some corrections concerning ALUPEC. Someone erased it. As you may see details in the "discussion" of the portuguese version – this article has some mistakes concerning ALUPEC: i) until now the Government did nothing to implement the law – ALUPEC; ii) as of today yet the vast majority of Capeverdeans does not know that ALUPEC exists; iii) it is a non-sense to say that someone rejected something that he did not know; iv) the author of the article is campaigning against a Government law using Wikipedia. I hope the Wikipedia’s Administration will take note of this remark. Therefore, I shall insert the truth again: were stays “the majority rejected” or “the majority did not accepted” should stay “as of today, the majority of Creole speakers still writes as before the enactment of ALUPEC”. That is the fact that can be verified. The author shall not invent the reason in the Wikipedia, for here is not the place for invention…

30th July, 2007; 1531 Cape Verde's time


I've tried to move this page to "Cape Verdean Creole", but I couldn't. How can this be done? TenIslands 11:31, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

The other page had to be deleted first. I tagged it with {{db-move}}, as soon as it is deleted, the moving can be made. Waldir 23:51, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, as it can be seen, I've moved the page. Waldir 19:26, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Nasal open-mid vowelsEdit

Hi. I noticed that the vowel table includes not only oral and nasal versions for /e/ and /o/, but also for /ɛ/ and /ɔ/. Are these nasals really four distinct phonemes, or are they perhaps allophonic or dialectal variants? Regards. FilipeS 17:10, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Check the table of the description of the vowels in Cape Verdean Creole phonology (in Portuguese). There are minimal pairs that opose /e/ to /ẽ/, /o/ to /õ/, /e/ to /ɛ/, /o/ to /ɔ/, /ɛ/ to /ɛ̃/ and /ɔ/ to /ɔ̃/. So, it would be logical to assume that /ẽ/ and /ɛ̃/ are different phonemes, and /õ/ and /ɔ̃/ are also different phonemes. I haven't found minimal pairs for /ẽ/ and /ɛ̃/ or for /õ/ and /ɔ̃/ (in my 120 seconds research...  ) but all phonetic studies about Cape Verdean Creole assume that they are different phonemes. TenIslands 19:39, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the link. I asked this question... well, first because I was curious, but secondly, I guess, because one thing that struck me while reading the article, was that there seems to be a lot of variation in the height of the vowels "e" and "o" due to certain phonetic phenomena which you called metaphony, and also between dialects.

Even in Portuguese, true minimal pairs for /e/ to /ɛ/, for example, are not easy to come by. Usually, there's some other factor that helps to disambiguate, such as one word being a verb and the other a noun. (Mateus and d'Andrade, in their book The Phonology of Portuguese, argue that the Portuguese nasal vowels can be seen as allophonic realizations of oral vowels in assimilation with nasal consonants. While this is not a common analysis, I haven't found any flaw in it.)

Perhaps I am seeing this too much from a Portuguese perspective, but it made me wonder whether in Cape Verdean (which I confess I know little about) open and close vowels could be regarded as free variants of each other, if not completely, then at least with a rather limited number of exceptions.

I'll stop rambling now. :-) FilipeS 19:56, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Official languageEdit

I didn’t understand why Waldir said that “it’s about to become an official language” was false. Besides the same sentence being present also in the Portuguese and French versions, the same fact is largely documented.
About the number of native speakers, I trusted the figures presented by Ethnologue. I could even have said that th Cape Verdean Creole is the third Creole with the largest number of speakers (after the Haitian Creole and the Jamaican Creole), but the linguists do not agree if all the French Creoles in the Lesser Antilles are variations of one language or separated languages.
About the “oldest Creole”, I figured out that since the Portuguese Overseas Empire was the first, the Cape Verdean Creole was the first to appear. But a citation would be nice!
TenIslands 23:12, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for the very late reply. The sentence I removed was: "(...)it is the Portuguese based Creole with the greatest number of native speakers, and it one of the few Creoles to become an official language." The way it was written didn't express a future tense, but a present one (very poorly, actually, since it missed the verb -- or had an extra pronoun), which is, as you know, indeed false. The way you put it (“it’s about to become an official language”) is perfectly ok for me to stay in the article. Waldir 18:12, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Double negativesEdit

Under Grammar/Sentence Structure, double(/triple) negatives are described as "A curiosity that makes Cape Verdean Creole close to other Creoles". However, negative agreement is the rule in Portuguese, so its existence in a Portuguese creole should not be surprising (nor, in my opinion, an example of creoleness). What really confuses me is that the exact same statement is in the Portuguese version of this page -- is something different about the structure of negative agreement in Creole vs. Portuguese? Portuguese experts?

Tanketz 01:32, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't quite understand your confusion. Why shouldn't that be in the portuguese version of the article? Also, as far as I can tell (and I am not even close to a Portuguese expert, so this is just my humble opinion), triple negation doesn't occur in Portuguese. Maybe we should rephrase the sentence to note that the first situation occurs in Portuguese, but not the second one? Waldir 18:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
What confused me is that it seemed like the Portuguese article was referring to the possibility of double negation as "uma curiosidade". But taking the example from the double negation article, "não como nada", I'd assume "não acho nada" would be the Portuguese version of "náda m’ câ atchâ", and both are double.
I think you're right, that the difference between Kriolu and Portuguese in terms of negation (and the similarity to other creoles) is that Kriolu can negate every negatable word in the sentence, while Portuguese stops at 2. But, I know very little of the details of Portuguese, so I don't feel comfortable putting my guesses into an encyclopedia article. I do have a book source on Atlantic creoles tending to negate lots of words. --Tanketz 22:45, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
The “curiosity” attribute was referring that in other Creoles (English-based or French-Based) also appears double negatives, it was not necessarely referring to Portuguese. In Portuguese there are indeed situations that double negatives occur (não como nada, literally “*I don’t eat nothing”), but other situations (possible in Creole) are not admissible in Portuguese (*nada eu não como, literally “*nothing I don’t eat”). Ten Islands 05:06, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
To be honest, it seems to me that the order of the elements in the sentences is not related to the double negation per se. There are surely other sentence structures in portuguese that are allowed in a given order, but not in another, and these latter may or may not be acceptable in c.v. creole. I'd say the actual curiosity resides primarily in the triple negation. But once again, this is just MHO. Waldir 14:45, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Right; if it were possible to say nada ki n ka atxa ( it?), that would be a clear example to me of a different negative construction. Thanks for the help. I tried to clarify the sentence in the article. --Tanketz 15:29, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I had been wondering why this wasn't in the "negation" section of the page, and just remembered that this paragraph comes immediately after statements that Creole uses SVO word order. Rewriting/rearranging the paragraph a little. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tanketz (talkcontribs) 14:24, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi there Tanketz!
If I may say so, I didn’t like your last edit, the previous one looked better. Before reverting it, let’s discuss a little.
Some years ago, I saw an article in a magazine about a Monogenetic Theory of Creole languages, based on the Universal grammar. That article claimed that Creole languages were not issued neither from the main lexifier language, neither from a substratum language (for ex. some African languages). The article defended that Creole languages were a natural development, issued from a “bioprogram”, an ability that every human beeing has for the acquisition of a language. Among several examples, the author showed the example of how almost every Creole language uses the double negation. He explained that as being the natural tendency of children for using double negatives, this tendency being corrected later during the progressive acquisition of the language.
Some languages don’t have double negatives, English, for instance. Some languages have double negatives in specific contexts. In Portuguese is possible the usage of double negatives when the sentence begins with the negation of the verb (eu não sei nada, ele não viu ninguém, nãonenhum — literally: “I don’t know nothing, he hasn’t seen nobody, there isn’t none”), but when the sentence begins directly with a negative word (nada, ninguém, nunca, nenhum, etc. — “nothing, no-one, never, none”), double negations are not allowed (*nada eu não sei is incorrect), while it is in general use in Creole (náda m’ sabê).
All this long talk what is it for? Just to say that the main goal here was to compare Cape Verdean Creole with other Creoles, not exactly with Portuguese. It was kind of wanting to say: “Hey guys, have you noticed that Cape Verdean Creole also has a feature similar to other Creoles?”
So, do you have any suggestion for rephrasing the sentence?
Ten Islands (talk) 11:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
My second edit was based on the position of the sentence in the "Sentence structure" section, rather than the "Negation" section, plus the fact that the example given was in OSV word order. It probably should be taken out as original research, as I sort of made it up from the information already there. I understand you were comparing Creole with other creoles. I was just trying to add references to Portuguese because one of the first things I thought of upon reading the sentence was, "what about double negatives in Portuguese?", and I wanted things to be clearer for people like me, and also to people who don't know Portuguese has double negatives. By the way, does Portuguese allow sentences without any negative agreement (eu sei nada)?
I'm still not sure the best way to include (or not include) a reference to Portuguese in the sentence (but it probably should be brief, if it's not very relevent). Does this belong in the "Sentence structure" section, though? If so I think it should be rephrased to be clearer as to being a structural issue. And seriously, what's up with the word order in this type of sentence?
Tanketz (talk) 16:06, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Now I get it -- to quote Syntactic similarities of creoles#Structural similarities in syntax of creoles: "Sentence structure: Subject Verb Object word order, with similar mechanisms for using word order to apply focus to one of these constituents" (emphasis mine) --Tanketz (talk) 16:16, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
*Eu sei nada is ungrammatical, but Eu nada sei is correct Portuguese. The negative adverb has to precede the verb. FilipeS (talk) 20:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

The writing system (ALUPEC) has not been accepted by Creole users?Edit

Several weeks had passed on the date of the consensus on this matter (sees the discussions concerning ALUPEC) and Mr TENISLANDS did not align this part to the consensus. Therefore, I decided to conform it. I hope that Mr TENISLANDS will make the adaptations in the other languages., in the capital of Cape Verde, on November 22th, 2007, at 13:02 GMT —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:28, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


Hi there again, Tanketz! Thank you for your corrections (the use of prepositions in English is really unpredictable!). However, I changed back the word “conditional” to “future” because what is called “conditional” in Creole grammar is not the same as “conditional” in English grammar. I don’t have much time right now, but if you (or anybody else) are more interested, I will be glad to explain why. Ten Islands (talk) 11:50, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

LOL! Spoken in Germany???Edit

LOL! Spoken in Germany? Please give us the number of Cabo Verde Creole speakers in Germany so we can laugh. I bet it is 1 or 2 individuals. France ok, Netherlands yes, Portugal of course, but Germany??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:00, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

The number of CapeVerdeans is high enough for Cape Verde to have an embassy there (unlike UK). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

There are definitely people in Germany that speak Kriolu. I know a family with nearly half of their children having moved there over the years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:27, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

New Push on CV LanguageEdit

I want everyone who's posted on this page to watch the Talk page on Wikipedia:Wikiproject page. It's really important for everyone that's interested in Cape Verde. Wiki User 68 (talk) 01:15, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Double negation is also allowed in PortugueseEdit

I would like to see the reference for this statement, because according to my experience as a native Portuguese speaker there is few divergence between Cape Verdian Creole and Portuguese in the phrases used as examples:

A curiosity that makes Cape Verdean Creole closer to other creoles is the possibility of double negation (ex.: Náda m’ câ atchâ. liter. “Nothing I didn’t find.”), or sometimes even triple negation (ex.: Núnca ninguêm câ tâ bába lâ. liter. “Never nobody didn’t go there.”), in forms not allowed in Portuguese.

One of the particular features of Portuguese is also that in many structures the phrase allows double negation and it's perfectly accepted. For example, the example phrases in Portuguese would be normally spoken "Eu não achei nada" (literally, "I didn't find nothing") and "Ninguém nunca foi lá" (literally, "Nobody never went there"). Not only are those statements correct according to standard grammar, but they are also the most common form. Granted, triple negation wouldn't be allowed by the Portuguese grammar rules. However, there is a kind of triple negation in colloquial Brazilian Portuguese that repeats "não" at the end of the phrase: "Não comi nada não" ("I didn't eat nothing no"). Anyway, the triple negation alone should be explained as a curious feature of Cape Verdean creole, since double negation is not only allowed but in many situations standard in the Portuguese language (we know the inversed order of the phrase is mostly an exception in Portuguese, so the fact is that double negation is, in everyday spoken Portuguese, just as common). (talk) 02:50, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Multiple negation is never "curious" in any language. It's standard in a lot of languages and exists dialectally in most languages. It's a very common thing cross-linguistically. The word "curious" should be stricken altogether. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
That makes sense. I've taken it out. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 13:48, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Clarification neededEdit

I’m sorry for my late answer. Some time ago, a user tagged the IPA symbol [ƞ] with a “clarification needed”. I am, therefore, trying to clarify this issue.

I’m aware that that symbol is no longer in use by the I. P. Alphabet. It’s a shame, it was a bad decision from the I. P. Association, because it removes the options to unmistakably represent a certain sound.

But, first of all, what is the correct description of that sound? It is better described as nasal resonance. It is not a syllabic consonant. It is a sound made through the passage of the air stream through the nasal cavity, but with no occlusion in the mouth cavity. To pronounce that sound, one might start by pronouncing the bilabial nasal consonant [m]. Then, without stopping the air flow through the nasal cavity, set the lips apart from each other… and there you have it! This sound is used only in the Sotavento varieties of Cape Verdean Creole. It is used only when the first person of the singular personal pronoun bears the function of subject. The Barlavento varieties of Cape Verdean Creole are more conservative in this aspect, and they still pronounce it as a syllabic bilabial nasal consonant [m̩] (Lopes da Silva, 1957).

The phonetic description of this sound and its writing have always been problematic. Lopes da Silva (1957) describes it as a nasal close front vowel [ĩ]. Frankly, I’ve never heard that pronounciation. However, I admit that it may not be wrong. I’ve seen in 19th century texts (de Paula Brito, 1887) the written representation as “ĩ”, what leads me to speculate that that was the pronounciation until the beginning of the 20th century. What I’ve been listening, specially among the newest generation, is the mistakenly pronounciation as a nasal close back rounded vowel [ũ] (also in people from Barlavento), specially among people with a highly Portuguese-influenced speaking. That can be clearly checked, in the writing, when those people confuse the writing of the first person of the singular personal pronoun with the writing of the numeral/indefinite article “um” [ũ]. In my idiolect, I’m not sure if I pronounce it as a vowel, but if it is so, it is closer to a nasal close central vowel [ɨ̃]. Veiga also acknowledged that problem in his proposed writing (ALUPEC), but he never describes that sound. Instead, he proposes the single written representation as a capital letter “N” (also for the Barlavento varieties that, remember, pronounce it as a syllabic bilabial nasal consonant [m̩]). Nicholas Abrial (1996), in his phonetic transcriptions, uses a tilde [~] to represent that sound (“m-sabe” [~sabe] — “I know”). Lang (2002) has a different perspective, he considers the existence of pre-nasalized consonants (“N ta kánta” [ntɐ 'kãtɐ] — “I sing”). But that leads to several issues. First, if I am not mistaken, the pre-nasalization IPA symbol is [ⁿ], and not [n] as Lang uses. Second, pre-nasalized consonants are more common among plosives, whether this sound in Sotavento varieties may appear before any phoneme ([ƞ 'lebɐ] — “I took”), but O. K., I may admit the existence of pre-nasalized fricatives, laterals, and so on. Third, this sound may appear before vowels ([ƞ 'ɐbɾi] — “I opened”). In Lang’s perspective, what does that mean? A “pre-nasalized vowel”??? And what about when this sound appears before nasal vowels ([ƞ ĩ'ʃinɐ] — “I tought”)? A “pre-nasalized nasal vowel”??? Fourth, and perhaps most important, the IPA descriptions about pre-nasalized phonemes state that they are a single phonemes, pronounced in a single voice effort. The first person of the singular personal pronoun in Cape Verdean Creole is always a syllabic phoneme, no matter the allophonic variations in Sotavento Creoles ([m̩ baj] — “I went” — [n̩ tẽ] — “I have” — [ŋ̩ kɾe] — “I want” — in all these cases always two syllables) or the dialectical variations ([ƞ 'sɐbe] — “I know”, in Santiago Creole — [m̩ sɐ'be] — “I know”, in São Vicente Creole — here, too, always three syllables). That can be easily checked in songs, where this sound is generally a separate musical note (“m’ câ crê ubí óndas tchorâ” [ŋ̩ kɐ kɾe u'bi 'ɔ̃dɐs ʧo'ɾɐ] — “I don’t want to hear the waves cry” — 9 syllables, 9 musical notes).

For all those reasons, I’ve chosen the representation used by Tude (1995) which seems unmistakable, even though it is an obsolete symbol from the IPA. Nevertheless, I’m open to suggestions. Can anyone help me, does anyone have a better suggestion for the representation of that sound?

Ten Islands (talk) 11:50, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not a fan of using outdated IPA characters, especially one that looks so much like the engma. Would it be too weird to represent this sound differently depending on context? I believe this is done for Polish nasal vowels that are often oral vowels followed by a nasal homorganic to a following consonant. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:54, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

/ʎ/ → /dʒ/Edit

the phoneme /ʎ/ (written “lh” in Portuguese) has evolved to /dʒ/

Is it interesting to note that that evolution is also common in Spanish?
So, in Spanish I would say, Me llamo Varlaam, with a /dʒ/ in llamo.
Varlaam (talk) 20:19, 7 June 2012 (UTC)


I'm looking for a Cape Verdean on-line dictionary. Does something like that exist, or does an on-line community that can answer questions about the meaning of words exist? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Theories about formationEdit

The three theories about the formation of Creole sound fascinating. But the theories are described in such a summarised and abstract way that I can't quite grasp the difference between them. It would be good to explain the difference between the three theories more clearly.Llezsoeg (talk) 05:17, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

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