[Ads-l] Fw: Revival of a creole

Bill Mullins amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 15 19:57:09 UTC 2023

I see that the OED does not include kouri-vini.


1977 Southern Exposure v5 #2-3 Summer/Fall 143/2

Many whites as well as blacks in the shaded area of the map speak this sort of Creole, although they refer to it by local names like Français nèg', Français Platte, Couri-Vini, Gombo or patois.


1982 Southern Exposure v10 #3 57/2

Many of them, white and black alike, use the Afro-Caribbean Creole language referred to locally as couri-vini or gombo.


1987   Smithsonian Institution 1987 Festival of American Folklife  34

Sometimes derisively called Gombo French, Français nèg’ and Couri-Vini (from the minimal Creole verb stems for “to go” and “to come” ), Louisiana Creole shows great similarity to French Creole in Haiti, French West Africa, and even Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.


1996 A. Valdman in J. H. Dorman Creoles of Color in the Gulf South  162

This feature, illustrated by one of the names for LC, kouri vini, involves combinations of two or more verbs.


1997 A. Valdman French and Creole in Louisiana 4

The latter's lowly status is reflected by the terms with negative connotations used to identify it,
such as français nèg, nèg, kouri vini, and gombo.

2007 Sing Out v51 #3 Autumn 138/3 [ProQuest]

Savoy also plays some great after-hours blues piano on the relaxed Watson original "Ma Petite Femme," which is sung in the nearly extinct black "couri vini" dialect.

2015 [Lafayette LA] Daily Advertiser 12 July 12A/4

His family spoke Creole with strong elements of French and African languages, a dialect sometimes called kouri vini.


From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Mark Mandel <markamandel at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2023 12:02 AM
Subject: Revival of a creole

*Kouri-Vini: The return of the US' lost language*


By Tracey Teo 1st March 2023
*It was born from the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and then
slowly disappeared. Now, its speakers are reclaiming it as part of their

At the Hideaway on Lee, a bar and music venue in Lafayette, Louisiana,
Cedric Watson belted out the lyrics to "Oh, Bye Bye" in Louisiana French.
*[The article focuses on this performer's work in reviving the "lost


Watson is part of a grass roots resurgence to revive Kouri-Vini, a
historical name for the Louisiana Creole language that has been reclaimed
to prevent confusion with other things "Creole", such as ethnicity, musical
styles and culinary traditions.

Watson's next album, slated for release this summer, will be sung mostly in
Kouri-Vini. Today, the language has fewer than 6,000 speakers, but at the
beginning of the 20th Century, it was spoken by much of the Creole
population in the 22-parish region of south-west Louisiana known as

In the early 18th Century, newly enslaved people created an amalgam of
their native West African languages and the French that colonists used to
communicate on the Louisiana sugar and indigo plantations where they
toiled. "It's the first language all these Africans coming from different
tribes and caste systems would speak when they were enslaved," Watson said.
"They had these pidgin languages they would speak for a couple of
generations, but it eventually became an organised language, which is
Creole (Kouri-Vini)" - whose name comes from the Creole pronunciation of
the French verbs "courir" (to run) and "venir" (to come).


Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list