Devonish, Hubert ; Harry, Otelemate
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy
Jamaican Creole and Jamaican English : Phonology
A Handbook of Varieties of English: Phonology ed
Place of Publication
Mouton De Gruyter
Date of Publication
Series Editor Role
Series Volume Identification
Series Issue Identification
The popular perception within Jamaica of the Jamaican language situation is that it consists of two varieties. One is Jamaican Creole (JamC) popularly labelled 'Patwa' and the other Jamaican English (JamaE). According to this view, the educated minority able to function in both varieties use the former in private, informal and predominatly oral interaction and the latter mainly in public, formal and written discourse. Viewed as language situation with two varieties used in the complementary manner described, the Jamaican speech community is diglossic with JamC being the L variety anf JamE the H. For most speakers in Jamaica, formal education and writing are the main sources of knowledge of the idealised JamE variety labelled 'English'. On the one hand, speakers, in their attempts to approximate the idealised norm of English, will, to varying degrees dependent in part on the extent of their formal education, fall short of their intended goal. On the other, speakers, in their approximations of JamC or Patwa, however, often fall short to varying degrees, mainly as a result of the intrusion of features which are associated with English. These linguistic features serve to distinguish between the Creole of educated bilinguals, on one hand, and uneducated near monolinguals on the other. As might be expected, the JamC speech of the former group tends to involve a greater degree of English interference than does the JamC of the latter.....