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  • Ekise No. 2 Quarters, Patani, Delta State, Nigeria.

Ijaws in Guyana

In 1994, Professor Sylvia Kouwenburg a linguist then of University of West Indies discovered that a dutch creole spoken in the Berbice river delta in Guyana, South was partly base on the West African Ijo language. At the time there were less than fifteen elderly speakers remaining.

Berbice Dutch Creole which was declared extinct in 2005 was determined to be up to thirty percent based on the Ijo language spoken in the Niger river delta in present day Nigeria. The most closely related was the Eastern Ijo dialect of Kalabari.

How did Ijaws get there? One wonders if it was through escape then isolation of slaves. Could they have also been descendants of survivors of a fishing expedition gone wrong that had drifted about four thousand miles towards the soutwest? Either way, the architects of the language sought refuge in a familiar riverine ordelta environment.


  • Great to be here and many thanks our able Moderator

    • Great to be here too !
      Thanks to Mr Ben Okoro the master workaholic and incurable optimist !

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