Lexicon Valley

The Incredible Story of the Traveling Creole

Enslaved people developed a hybrid language that sailed from Africa to the Caribbean and—unbelievably—back again.

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Episode Notes

In this episode, John argues that the many creole languages—of the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and beyond—were likely descended from a single parent tongue that originated along the western coast of Africa. A magnificent linguistic creation was born, he says, amid the unspeakable inhumanity of what were known as slave castles. And it sailed around the world.

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo.

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About the Show

If you’ve ever had curious thoughts and questions about the ways we speak, read, and write, Lexicon Valley is the show for you. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

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