chapter
Sierra Leone Items in the Gullah Dialect of American English.
WithP. E. H. HAIR
Pages 6

The Gullah dialect is spoken by a few thousand poorly educated Negroes in rural districts in the coastal region of South Carolina and Georgia. Gullah has been investigated as part of an inquiry into the extent to which the Negro population of the United States has retained cultural traits of African provenance. To recapitulate: languages of the Sierra Leone region are listed as the source of nearly 100% of the African-derived terms found in Gullah rituals, of about 20% of the terms found in Gullah conversation, and of about 25% of the Gullah personal names. Yoruba, Kongo and the Sierra Leone region languages between them cover three-quarters of the derivations: despite its very much smaller population, the Sierra Leone region's share is of the same order as that of the Yoruba and Kongo districts. Traces of Sierra Leone languages might be sought by American investigators in other districts of the South, in present-day speech or in historical records.