Mauritian Creole or Morisien or formerly Morisyen (Mauritian Creole: kreol morisien, pronunciation: /kʁeol moʁisjɛ̃, -iʃɛ̃/) is a French-based creole language spoken in Mauritius. In addition to the French base of the language, there are also a number of words from English and from the many African and South Asian languages that have been spoken on the island.
Mauritian Creole is the lingua franca and de facto language of Mauritius, formerly a British colony, which has kept both English and French as its core languages, even though English is used mostly for administration and educational purposes and French for media and as a second language for speaking.
Mauritians tend to speak Mauritian Creole at home and French in the workplace. French and English are spoken in schools. Though many Mauritians are of Indian descent, they primarily speak Creole. It is their ancestral language in the sense that their ancestors, along with those of African, European and Chinese descent, helped create the creole language together centuries ago, when Mauritius was the meeting place of peoples from different continents who together founded a nation with its own culture and history. Today, around 1.3 million people speak the language.
|Pronunciation||/kʁeol moʁisjɛ̃/ or /kʁeol moʁiʃɛ̃/|
|1,090,000 (2012 UNSD)|
1,335,000 total speakers
L2 speakers: 200,000 (2016)
Mauritian Creole is a French-based creole language, closely related to Seychellois Creole, Rodriguan Creole and Chagossian Creole. Mauritian's relationship to other French-based creole languages is controversial. Robert Chaudenson (2001) and Henri Wittmann (1972, 1987, etc.) have argued that Mauritian Creole is closely related to Réunion Creole, but Philip Baker and Chris Corne (1982) have argued that Réunion influence on Mauritian was minimal and that the two languages are barely more similar to each other than they are to other French-based creoles.
Although the Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit Mauritius, they did not settle there. Rather, the small Portuguese element in the vocabulary of Mauritian derives from the Portuguese element in European maritime jargon (such as the Mediterranean Lingua Franca) or from enslaved Africans or Asians who came from areas in which Portuguese was used as a trade language. Similarly, while the Dutch had a colony on Mauritius between 1638 and 1710, all the Dutch settlers evacuated the island to Réunion, leaving behind only a few runaway slaves who would have no discernible impact on Mauritian. The French then claimed Mauritius and first settled it between 1715 and 1721.
As they had done on Réunion and in the West Indies, the French created on Mauritius a plantation economy, based on slave labour. Slaves became a majority of the population of Mauritius by 1730 and were 85% of the population by 1777. They came from West Africa, East Africa and Madagascar.
Given the resulting linguistic fragmentation, French became the lingua franca among the slaves. However, the small size of the native French population on the island, their aloofness from most of their slaves, and the lack of formal education for slaves ensured that the slaves' French developed in very different directions from the slave owners' French.
Historical documents from as early as 1773 note the "creole language" that the slaves spoke.
The abolition of slavery in the 1830s made many leave the plantations, and Indian indentured workers replaced them after they had been brought in by plantation owners. Though the Indians soon became the majority on the island, which they remain, their own linguistic fragmentation as well as their alienation from the English- and French-speaking plantation owners led them to take up Mauritian Creole as their main lingua franca.
The phonology of Mauritian Creole is very similar to that of Standard French. However, French /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ have respectively depalatalised to /s/ and /z/ in Mauritian, and the front vowels /y/ and /ø/ have respectively been unrounded to /i/ and /e/.
The language has several published dictionaries, both monolingual and bilingual, written by authors such as Philip Baker (1987), the group "Ledikasyon pu travayer," and Arnaud Carpooran (2005, 2009, 2011), among others. The number of publications is increasing steadily; however, the orthographies used in them are significantly different.
The Mauritian government began supporting an orthographic reform in 2011, with a system that generally follows French but eliminates silent letters and reduces the number of different ways in which the same sound can be written. It was codified in the Lortograf Kreol Morisien (2011) and used in the Gramer Kreol Morisien (2012) as well. It has become standard upon its adoption by the second edition of the Diksioner Morisien, which previously had been spelt as the Diksyoner Morisyen.
Examples shown are in Mauritian Creole and French only.
|Number||Mauritian Creole||French||Number||Mauritian Creole||French|
|1||Enn||Un/Une||21||Vint-e-enn||Vingt et un|
|19||Diznef||Dix-neuf||1000000||Enn milion||Un million|
Examples shown are in English, Mauritian Creole and French.
|You (informal)||To (Twa)||Tu (Toi)|
|In front (of)||Devan||Devant|
|(To the) right||Adrwat||À droite|
|(To the) left||Agos||À gauche|
|Next to||Akote||À côté|
|Mourouk; Mourkou||முறுக்கு Muruku||A type of snack|
|Vetiver||வெட்டிவேர் Vettiver||Chrysopogon zizanioides|
|At||Atta||Name of a fruit|
|Patol||புடோல் Pudol||Trichosanthes cucumerina|
|Avrayka||அவரைக்காய் Avaraykai||Lablab purpureus|
|Karoupile||கருவேப்பிலை Karuvepilay||Murraya koenigii|
|Pak||பாக்கு Paku||Areca nut|
|Poutou||புட்டு Puttu||A rice dish|
|Ounde||உருண்டை Urundai||A sphere-shaped confection|
|Ayo!||ஐயோ Ayyo!||Alas! (exclamation)|
Most words come from French but are not always used in the same way. For example, the French article le, la, les is often fused with the noun in Mauritian: French rat is Mauritian lera and French temps is Mauritian letan. The same is true for some adjectives and prepositions: French femme ("woman") and riz ("rice") are bonnfam (from bonne femme) and diri (from du riz) in Mauritian. Some words have changed their meanings altogether: Mauritian gagn ("to get" or "to obtain") is derived from french gagner ("to win" or "to earn").
There are also several loanwords from the languages of the African Malagasy slaves, who contributed such words as Mauritian lapang from Malagasy ampango (rice stuck to the bottom of a pot), Mauritian lafus from Malagasy hafotsa (a kind of tree), and Mauritian zahtak from Malagasy antaka (a kind of plant). In some cases, as with some of the nouns from French, the Mauritian word has fused with the French article le/la/les.
Recent loanwords tend to come from English, such as map instead of plan or carte in French (plan or kart in Mauritian Creole). English words used in Mauritian Creole retain their English spelling but should normally written with inverted commas.
Nouns do not change in the according to grammatical number. Whether a noun is singular or plural can usually be determined only by context. However, the particle bann (from bande) is often placed before a plural. French un/une corresponds to Mauritian enn but its use has slightly different rules. Mauritian has an article (la), but it is placed after the noun. Compare French un rat, ce rat, le rat, les rats, and Mauritian enn lera, lera-la and bann lera.
Verbs do not change their form according to tense or person. Instead, the accompanying noun or pronoun determines who is engaging in the action, and several preverbal particles are used alone or in combination to indicate the tense: ti (from French étais) marks past tense, pe, short for the now-rare ape (from "après," as Québec French still uses to mark the progressive aspect, (f)inn (from French fini) marks the completive or perfect, and pou or sometimes va or av (from French va) marks the future tense.
For example, li finn gagn ("he/she/it had") can also be shortened to linn gagn and pronounced as one word. The Réunion version is li té fine gagne for past, li té i gagne for past progressive, and li sava gagne for present progressive or near future.
Here is the Lord's Prayer in Mauritian Creole, French and English:
|Mauritian Creole||French||Gallicized orthography||English|
|Nou Papa ki dan lesiel
Fer rekonet ki to nom sin,
|Notre Père qui est aux cieux,
Que ton Nom soit sanctifié,
|Nous Papa qui dans le-ciel,
Faire reconnait(re) que ton nom saint,
|Our Father in heaven,|
hallowed be your name.
Agalega creole is a creole language influenced by French spoken in Agalega. It has been heavily influenced by both Mauritian Creole and Seychellois Creole, as well as Malagasy. The population of speakers number just under 1,000.Bourbonnais Creole
Bourbonnais Creole is a group of French-based creole languages spoken in the western Indian Ocean. The close relation of the languages is a consequence of the similar historical and cultural backgrounds of the islands. The name is derived from the former name of Réunion Island, which was called Bourbon Island prior to 1793. Another name is Mascarene Creole, derived from the main island group associated with these languages.
There are six languages in this group:
Seychellois CreoleChristianity in Mauritius
Christianity is the religion adhered to by 32.7 per cent of the population of Mauritius. Of these, 80.3 per cent are Roman Catholics. The Mauritian Creole and Franco-Mauritian ethnic groups are mostly Christian and significant parts of the Sino-Mauritian ethnic group are also mainly Christian. Mauritius got independence in 1968 and there was no state religion in Mauritius defined in the constitution. The religious organizations present at the time of independence, namely, Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, Presbyterian Church, Seventh-day Adventist, Hindus and Muslims are recognized by parliamentary decree.
Roman Catholics were the majority Christians with a total of 26 per cent of the total Mauritian population, while all others, totaling six per cent, were Seventh-day Adventists, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Assemblies of God. The major and the oldest church in Mauritius is the St. Louis Cathedral, Port-Louis, while St. James Cathedral is another historic Cathedral.Dev Virahsawmy
Deva Virahsawmy (born 1942 in Quartier-Militaire, Mauritius), is a politician, playwright, poet and advocate of the Mauritian Creole language. Though he writes easily in both French and English, Virahsawmy is most renowned for his efforts to popularize the use of Creole.Kreol
The name Kreol may be
any of many creole peoples or creole languages
Haitian Creole, also known as Kreol Ayisyen
Mauritian Creole, also known as Kreol Morisien
Seychelles Creole, also known as Kreol Seselwa
Kreol (software) (Kreol), a software MIDI instrumentLalit (political party)
Lalit is a left-wing political party in the Republic of Mauritius. It is opposed to private or any other undemocratic control of government functions. According to its website, the party was created as a "free-expression monthly magazine" named "Lalit de Klas" (English: "Class Struggle") in 1976. "Lalit" means "struggle" in Mauritian Creole. The party, which started as a tendency inside the Mauritian Militant Movement, split from it in 1981, when the MMM announced that it was embarking on a policy of "New Social Consensus", seen by Lalit as a policy of collaboration with the capital.Lalit desires what it calls "an alternative political economy", and works towards care for the environment, against repression and torture, and towards women's liberation. Lalit strongly opposes communalism and the use of ethno-religious labels for official purposes. Its candidates in the 2005 National Assembly elections each drew the legally compulsory classification he or she would use from a hat, regardless of candidate's actual supposed "ethnicity" or religion. The party failed to win seats in the Assembly.
The party opposes the presence of Anglo-American forces on the atoll of Diego Garcia which forms part of the Republic of Mauritius.Lallmatie
Lallmatie is a village in Mauritius—located on the west side of Flacq District—it occupied a latitude around -20.1897222 and a longitude around 57.6611111. It has a density of 793.5/km2 (2,055/sq mi) and a total population of around 11,910 inhabitants. Lallmatie is one of the most developed villages in Mauritius and has a wide natural resources which include vast sugarcane fields, dense forests and rivers.
The village is sub divided into three plots—which include the Metropolitan area known as Royal Road Lallmatie—the residential area and—the flora and fauna area known as Giroday Road Lallmatie which consists of forest, sugar cane field and waterfall.
Christianity, Catholic, Islam are practiced by Lallmatian but the most dominating religion is Hinduism, around 83% of Lallmatian are Hindu Mauritian. The official language are English and French which is used for administration while Mauritian Creole is highly used for communication, but some inhabitants also speak their vernacular languages which include French, Mauritian Creole, English and Bhojpuri.
Lallmatie has one secondary institution named Manilal Doctor State Secondary School which is a girl state college and two primary institutions called Jawaharlall Nehru Government School and Sookdeo Bissoondoyal Government School. The primary source of transportation of the village are bus and taxi.Languages of Mauritius
The Constitution of Mauritius mentions no official language. It only contains a statement in Article 49 that "The official language of the Assembly shall be English but any member may address the chair in French," implying that English and French are official languages of the National Assembly (parliament). However, the majority language and lingua franca of the country is the French-based Mauritian Creole. English is used as the prime medium of instruction in public schools while French is also a common language in education and the dominant language of media. According to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, 72.7% of the Mauritians were French speakers in 2005. Mauritius shares this distinction of being both English- and French-speaking with Canada, Cameroon, Rwanda, Seychelles and Vanuatu.
Being both an English-speaking and French-speaking nation, Mauritius is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie.
Mauritian Creole, which is spoken by an estimated 90% of the population, is considered to be the native language of the country and is used most often in informal settings. It was developed in the 18th century by slaves who used a pidgin language to communicate with each other as well as with their French masters, who did not understand the various African languages. The pidgin evolved with later generations to become a casual language. Mauritian Creole is a French-based creole due to its close ties with French pronunciation and vocabulary.Mauritian Sign Language is the language of the deaf community.
It is only in the Parliament that the official language is English but any member of the National Assembly can still address the chair in French. English and French are generally accepted as the official languages of Mauritius and as the languages of government administration and the court business. The lingua franca is Creole.Other languages spoken in Mauritius include Tamil, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Telugu, Odia and Chinese, which is an amalgamation of several Indian languages spoken by the early Indian settlers. Most Mauritians are at least bilingual, if not trilingual. The earliest builders brought by the French were of Indian origin, who were employed to build Port Louis, the capital. Arabic is taught in mosques around Mauritius.List of Mauritian writers
This is a list of writers from Mauritius.
Nathacha Appanah (1973– ), Francophone writer
Lilian Berthelot, Francophone poet and local historian
Jean Blaize (1860–1937), Francophone writer
Marcel Cabon (1912–1972), Francophone novelist
Raymond Chasle (1930–1996), Francophone diplomat and poet
François Chrestien (1767–1846), Mauritian Creole poet and singer
Lindsey Collen (1948– ), Creolophone and anglophone novelist and essayist
Ananda Devi (1957– ), Francophone writer
Christine Duverge (1969– ), Francophone writer
Maurice Duverge (1849–1891), Francophone poet
Jacques Edouard (1964– ), Francophone journalist, poet and writer
Jean Fanchette (1932–1992), Francophone poet and psychoanalyst
Charles Gueuvin (1834–1905), Francophone poet
Robert-Edward Hart (1891–1954), francophone poet and novelist
Marie-Thérèse Humbert (1940– ) Francophone novelist
Yusuf Kadel (1970– ), Francophone poet and playwright
Stefan Hart de Keating (1971– ), Francophone slam poet
Raymonde de Kervern (1899–1973), Francophone poet
Léoville L'Homme (1857–1928), Francophone poet
Edouard Maunick (1931– ), Francophone poet, writer, and diplomat
Shenaz Patel (1966– ), Francophone and Creole story writer, playwright and novelist
Cassandra (Sandrine) Piat (1973– ), Anglophone writer
Thomi Pitot de la Beaujardière (1779–?), Francophone poet
Jean-Georges Prosper (1933– ), poet
Camille de Rauville (1910– ), Francophone writer
Pierre Renaud (1921–1976), Francophone poet
Dev Virahsawmy (1942– ), Creolophone poet, novelist and essayistList of newspapers in Mauritius
This is a list of local newspapers in Mauritius in alphabetical order.Mauritian (disambiguation)
Mauritian may refer to:
Something of, from, or related to Mauritius, an island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean
A person from Mauritius, or of Mauritian descent:
Culture of Mauritius
List of Mauritians
Mauritian Creole (there is no language called "Mauritian")
Mauritian Cup, the top knockout tournament of the Mauritian football
A major political party in Mauritius, Mauritian Labour Party
Mauritian duck (Anas theodori), a bird
The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, a non-governmental, non-profit conservation agency
Mauritian League, the top division of the Mauritius Football Association
Mauritian dollarMauritian Creole phonology
The phonology of Mauritian Creole is very similar to that of Standard French. However, French /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ have respectively depalatalized to /s/ and /z/ in Mauritian, and the front vowels /y/ and /ø/ have respectively been unrounded to /i/ and /e/.Mauritian of African origin
Mauritians of Bantu-African origin, more commonly known as Creole, are Mauritian people whose ancestors were from Madagascar and Mozambique, and came to the island as slaves. They are a minority ethnic group in Mauritius; the majority being Indo-Mauritians.Motherland (anthem)
"Motherland" (French: Mère Patrie) is the national anthem of Mauritius. The music was composed by Philippe Gentil and the lyrics were written by Jean-Georges Prosper. The anthem is short and briefly describes the luscious landscape of Mauritius. It also mentions the qualities of its people: peace, justice, and liberty.
The national anthem is composed in English and was first played during the Independence Day of 12 March 1968. The Labour Party ruled Mauritius from the time of independence in 1968 to 1982. The opposing Mauritian Militant Movement won the 1982 election. The party decided to establish Mauritian Creole as the national language and wanted to sing the national anthem in Creole during the 15th Independence Day on 15 March 1983. The move was sternly opposed by the alliance partners; the party lost power in 1983.Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate
The Parti Mauricien Social Démocrate (PMSD) (English: Mauritian Social Democratic Party) is a Right Wing political party in Mauritius. It is conservative and francophilic. It is the second biggest political party in the National Assembly and constitutes of the formal opposition, since it left government in 2016 with leader Xavier-Luc Duval serving as the Leader of the opposition.
Founded in 1956 by Jules Koenig, the Mauritian Social Democratic Party is one of the oldest parties in the country. It was known as the Mauritian Union from 1946 to 1956. After the post-colonial era, the PMSD was led by Sir Gaetan Duval from 1967 to 1995. The PMSD is known as the only political party which did not agree to independence for Mauritius. It started out with a large following in the minority communities such as Christians and Muslims, but with the arrival of the MMM in the 1970s, it faded. It won 23 seats in the 1967 general elections; at the 1976 elections, it retained only 7 (plus an eighth indirectly elected member). In 2000 the party formed part of the historical MSM/MMM alliance as a minority party. It joined the Labour Party-led Social Alliance, which included other allies. In 2009, it merged with the Xavier Duval Mauritian Party and retained its name; however, Xavier Luc Duval became leader and Maurice Allet became president. The PMSD is now focused with the Mauritian Creole community and has long been a loyal ally of the Mauritian Labour Party. In the elections of 2014, however, it joined the Alliance Lepep, a coalition comprising the Militant Socialist Movement, the Muvman Liberater, and itself. It won eleven seats.Rodriguan creole
Rodriguan Creole is a dialect of Mauritian Creole spoken on the island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean. The number of speakers is estimated at 40,000. On the island of Rodrigues, like in the rest of the republic of Mauritius, English is the official language and French is also spoken.Santé engagé
Santé engagé (in Mauritian creole: sante angaze) is a genre of Mauritian music which consists of singing protest songs. It is a way to protest against political/social oppression and repression through music. The genre mixes traditional Mauritian sega with Indian and Western influences.Sega (genre)
Sega (French: Séga) is one of the major music genres of Mauritius, the others being its fusion genre Seggae and Bhojpuri songs. It has origins in the music of slaves as well as their descendants Mauritian Creole people on the island, and is usually sung in creole. Sega is also a popular music on the islands of Agalega and Rodrigues as well as Réunion and Seychelles, though the music and dances differs and it is sung in these islands' respective creole languages. In the past, the Sega music was made only with traditional instruments like ravanne and triangle, it was sung to protest against injustices in the Mauritian society, this particular version of the Sega is known as Santé engagé.Tamil Mauritian
Tamil Mauritians are the descendants of Tamil migrants to Mauritius. The original immigrants from Tamil were craftsmen and tradesmen, and arrived when Mauritians was ruled by France. The island nation has a Tamil population of 115,000. Most were brought by the British from Tamil Nadu after 1727 to serve as labourers on the sugar cane plantations. Around 15 percent of Indo-Mauritians are Tamils. The community includes a Hindu majority, and the rest are Christians (largely Roman Catholic).
They account to 55,000 of the Mauritian population. Of this number, around 7000 people reported that they spoke Tamil. Most Tamils in Mauritius are Hindus. A large population of the Tamils in Mauritius live in Rose-Hill.
Thaipusam, the Tamil Hindu festival, is a national holiday in Mauritius and is notable in the temples.
Most Tamil Mauritians can read, and write Tamil to some extent, but very few can speak it well. Most speak Mauritian Creole, which include many Tamil words. A Tamil magazine Pathirikai and a Tamil radio station Onex FM exist in Mauritius. Most cultural aspects and rituals can be seen in full-fledged manner. Around a 100 schools teach Tamil as a mother tongue subject. It can also be learnt at university level. A Tamil conference was held here. Murugan temples are common and some Tamil place names are found here.