Edited by Cecelia Cutler, Zvjezdana Vrzić and Philipp Angermeyer
[Creole Language Library 53] 2017
► pp. 145–176
Linguistic commonality in English of the African diaspora
Evidence from lesser-known varieties of English
To examine the question of ethnolinguistic alignment and distinctiveness in the African English diaspora, we compare several communities of Afro and Anglo speakers in lesser-known varieties of English in historically insular communities, including a remote coastal area on the Atlantic Ocean of the United States, isolated regions in the Abaco region in the Bahama Islands, and the out-of-the way island of Saba in the Dutch Caribbean. The results of the comparative analyses for copula absence, syllable-coda cluster reduction, and vowel systems indicate both commonality and diversity. Accommodation to the traits of Afro English communities is found to varying degrees by cohort Anglo communities while each community preserves ethnolinguistic distinctiveness. The conclusion underscores both the significance of diffusion and substrate influence in support of an enduring, ethnically based English language profile in the African diaspora.