The case of Gustavia English, St. Barthélemy
In this day of ever-expanding influence of English it is rare to find a people who are shifting away from the use of English. Such is the case of the speakers of a variety of English spoken in the port town of Gustavia, St. Barthélemy in the French West Indies. The varieties of French and French Creole on St. Barths have been well documented, but there has been only passing mention of the variety of English spoken on the island. While the presence of this English variety in the Caribbean may not seem to be an anomaly, there are interesting questions to investigate regarding its origin and the shift to French. I consider some historical and linguistic evidence that may help to explain the presence of an English variety on this French island. I also investigate the origins of some non-standard English features and whether or not there is evidence of creolization. Finally, I describe some of the sociolinguistic factors relevant to the remaining English speakers in Gustavia and factors involved in their shift from English to French.
Published online: 22 December 2004
Cited by 1 other publications
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