Article published in:Variation in the Caribbean: From creole continua to individual agency
Edited by Lars Hinrichs and Joseph T. Farquharson
[Creole Language Library 37] 2011
► pp. 133–162
The creole continuum and individual agency
Approaches to stylistic variation in Jamaica
This paper analyses creolisms in a set of conversations among educated Jamaicans. It focuses on morphology and syntax but lexis is also considered. Two different approaches are applied: a quantitative approach in the framework of the creole continuum and a qualitative, interaction-based approach. The quantitative approach is useful to locate the set of data within the continuum – between the upper mesolect and the high acrolect – and to determine the relative “creoleness” of different features. The qualitative approach focuses on the fine details of variation within the data such as code-switching and helps to explain speakers’ choices. The paper concludes that the creole continuum and individual agency complement each other as approaches to stylistic variation in Jamaican speech.
Published online: 26 January 2011
Cited by 4 other publications
No author info given
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