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Publication Type
Book Chapter
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Kouwenberg, Silvia
Author Affiliation, Ana.
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Title, Analytic
Africans in early English Jamaica (1655-1700): The Akan-dominance myth.
Medium Designator
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Connective Phrase
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Author, Monographic
Wilmot, Swithin
Author Role
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Title, Monographic
Freedom. retrospective and prospective.
Reprint Status
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Edition
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Place of Publication
Kingston, Jamaica
Publisher Name
Ian Randle Publishers
Date of Publication
2009
Volume ID
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Issue ID
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Page(s)
32 - 44.
Series Editor
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Series Title
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Series Volume Identification
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Series Issue Identification
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Location/URL
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Notes
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Abstract
Students of Jamaican language, culture and history have long held that speakers of Akan (more popularly known as either Twi, Kromanti, or Ashante) were a dominant presence in early English Jamaica, and had a foundational impact on Jamaica 's language and culture. However, a study of the provenance of slaves in 17th-century English Jamaica, does not support this view. Nor is it fully supported by a study of those vocabulary items in Jamaican Creole which derive from African sources, as such a study turns up as many items from African sources other than Akan. Akan influence, it appears, postdates the formative period of Jamaican language and culture. So which African languages and cultures are at the basis of Jamaica 's language and culture? Who were the agents in the process of creolization? This paper aims to sketch the ethnolinguistic origins of the slave population in early English Jamaica (1655-1700), and thus provide a starting point from which it may be possible to answer these questions. In order to do so, I consider a combination of sources, including not only the documented direct trade (both licit and illicit), but also intra-Caribbean migration, intra-Caribbean (illicit) trade, and raids on non-English possessions.....
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