Definition of basilect in English:


Line breaks: basi|lect
Pronunciation: /ˈbasɪlɛkt
, ˈbeɪsɪ-/


  • A less prestigious dialect or variety of a particular language. Often contrasted with acrolect.
    More example sentences
    • At this time the great majority of people in the community were speakers primarily of this basilect.
    • Some like the basilect and some like the acrolect.
    • English would be the acrolect while Jamaican would be the basilect.



Pronunciation: /-ˈlɛkt(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • They are arranged along a post-Creole continuum which has acrolectal (those varieties closest to the superstrate) at one end and basilectal (those varieties furthest from it) at the other.
  • Furthermore, labels such as rare, historical, rural and basilectal help to categorize the items.
  • The article focuses on the basilectal features of the oldest speaker and considers how such features became stigmatized.


1960s: from basis + -lect as in dialect.

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