Jamaican Creole


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Jamaican Creole

  1. 1. Some key words (AO1) Creole: [...] a pidgin language which has become the native language of a speech community, and therefore has become expanded again, and acquired all the functions and characteristics of a full natural language." (Peter Trudgill 2000:3) Pidgin: "[...] a lingua franca which has no native speakers; derived from a 'normal language' through simplification, reduction and interference or admixture from the native language or languages of those who use it [...] (Peter Trudgill 2000:9) Lingua franca: "[...] a language which is used as a means of communication among people who have no native language in common." (Peter Trudgill 2000:7)
  2. 2. The Slave Trade The Caribbean has a long history of colonisation, and British planters began to settle in Jamaica in the middle of the 17th century. They started large sugar plantations and needed slave labour to run them, and for the following two centuries, slaves from different African countries were continuously brought to Jamaica. The need for a common language was obvious since the number of languages spoken within the slave community was great, and slaves with a common mother tongue were deliberately separated to prevent rebellion . Since English was the least common denominator, a pidgin variety of English arose, and was used as a lingua franca amongst the slaves but also between slave traders. After a time, the slaves had children who grew up in a pidgin-speaking environment and learnt the pidgin as their first language. Thus the pidgin became a creole. Other Creole languages are spoken in the Pacific area (including New Guinea and Hawaii), North Australia, and off the coast of Africa, in the Cape Verde Islands to the West, and in Mauritius and Seychelles to the East.
  3. 3. Amazing Grace
  4. 4. Jamaican Creole to BBE In the 1950s and 1960s people from the Caribbean migrated to Britain in relatively large numbers. Most of these settled in cities, especially in the large English cities, and in most of these communities people from Jamaica were more numerous than people from other parts of the Caribbean. British Black English is therefore most similar to Jamaican Creole, because of the larger number of Jamaicans who settled in this country.
  5. 5. Jamaican English What is usually referred to as 'Black English' in Britain, is the Jamaican Creole or Patois, which is spoken by the Black Caribbean community living mainly in London , but other parts of GB too, even though the London community are the largest. There are obviously other black ethnic groupings in Britain, but none of the same magnitude.
  6. 6. CODE SWITCHING (AO3) People of Afro-Caribbean descent who have been born in Britain nearly always learn the local variety of British English as their first language. Usually, they speak and understand Creole as well but use it less often than British English. Especially in private, informal conversations, both British English and Creole may be used. When a speaker "switches" from one language variety to another in the course of the same conversation - sometimes even within one sentence - this is called code switching. It is common behaviour among bilinguals of all kinds (though in some communities, it is frowned upon).
  7. 7. Transcript
  8. 8. Research (AO2) Mark Sebba studied London Jamaican in the 90s and concluded that the new generation speakers born into London’s Caribbean communities speak a variety influenced by Jamaican Creole, Cockney & RP. Sue Fox studied “Multi-ethnic youth dialect” which she rechristened Multicultural London English (MLE) although this is also spreading to other big cities. She found that speakers of the dialect are drawn from white, black and Asian communities alike. It is a genuine, evolving dialect.
  9. 9. Research (AO2) In a study by language and education specialist Viv Edwards, The West Indian language issue in British schools, language – the Creole spoken by the students – was singled out as an important factor disadvantaging Caribbean children in British schools. The study cites negative attitudes of teachers towards any non-standard variety noting that; "The teacher who does not or is not prepared to recognise the problems of the Creole-speaking child in a British English situation can only conclude that he is stupid when he gives either an inappropriate response or no response at all. The stereotyping process leads features of Creole to be stigmatised and to develop connotations of, amongst other things, low academic ability.“
  10. 10. Mr Oxford Don Using the wordle identify any lexis/phonology that varies from the standard Can you pick out any semantic fields in the poem
  11. 11. Thinking about Section B How is the language issue represented? How does the author represent himself and others? How do they shape the reader’s response? (audience positioning)
  12. 12. London Riots • What's happened is that a substantial section of the chavs that you wrote about have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion, and black and white, boy and girl operate in this language together. This language which is wholly false, a Jamaican patois that's been intruded in England, and that's why so many of us have the sense of literally a foreign country.