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Gullah developed independently on the Sea Islands off the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida throughout the 18th and 19th centuries among enslaved Africans. They developed a language that combined grammatical, phonological, and lexical features of the non-standard English varieties spoken by white slaveholders and farmers in that region of the United States along with those from numerous Western and Central African languages. According to this view, Gullah developed separately, or distinctly, from African American English and varieties of English spoken in the South. Guinea Coast Creole English was one of many languages spoken along the West African coast during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as a language of trade between Europeans and Africans and among multilingual Africans.
The vocabulary of Gullah comes primarily from English, but there are numerous words of African origin for which scholars have yet to produce detailed etymologies. Gullah resembles other English-based creole languages spoken in West Africa and the Caribbean Basin. Oklahoma, Texas, and Northern Mexico. The Black Seminoles’ ancestors were Gullahs who escaped from slavery in coastal South Carolina and Georgia in the 18th and 19th centuries and fled into the Florida wilderness.
Their modern descendants in the West speak a conservative form of Gullah resembling the language of 19th-century plantation slaves. There are some that postulate a Gullah-like “plantation creole” as having been the origin of AAE. Others cite different British dialects of English as having had greater influence on the structure of AAE. Gullah language based on field research in rural communities in coastal South Carolina and Georgia.
Turner found that Gullah is strongly influenced by African languages in its sound system, vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, and semantics. Gullah and almost 4,000 African personal names used by Gullah people. The fourth edition of this book was reprinted with a new introduction in 2002. Turner’s study was so well researched and detailed in its evidence of African influences in Gullah that academics soon changed their minds.
After Turner’s book was published in 1949, scholars began coming to the Gullah region regularly to study African influences in Gullah language and culture. The Gullah people have a rich storytelling tradition strongly influenced by African oral traditions but also by their historical experience in America. Several white American writers collected Gullah stories in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Georgia and Albert Henry Stoddard from South Carolina.
Northern woman whose parents came to the Lowcountry after the Civil War to assist the newly freed slaves. South Carolina planter-class background, also wrote original stories in 19th-century Gullah, based on Gullah literary forms. Gonzales’ works are well remembered in South Carolina today. The linguistic accuracy of these writings has been questioned because of the authors’ social backgrounds. Nonetheless, these works provide the best available information on the Gullah language as it was spoken in its more conservative form during the 19th century. In other words, some African-influenced grammatical structures that were present a century ago are less prevalent in the language today. Nonetheless, Gullah is still understood as a creole language and is certainly distinct from Standard American English.