Grammatical variation in Bequia (St Vincent and the Grenadines)
Despite the publication of Aceto & Williams (2003), the languages spoken in the Eastern Caribbean remain underdescribed. In this paper, we outline a project examining language use in Bequia (St Vincent and the Grenadines), based on fieldwork between 2003 and 2005, comprising over 100 hours of sociolinguistic interviews conducted and recorded by community-member researchers. We present quantitative analysis of three aspects of the grammatical system that exhibit variation: absence of the verb BE, verbal negation, and tense-aspect marking. We focus on three communities characterized by different sociodemographic histories. This paper fills a gap in our knowledge of the Eastern Caribbean and provides a descriptive sociolinguistic analysis as a starting point for future work. The findings contribute more generally to our understanding of (post-)colonial and contact varieties of English.
Keywords: Bequia, Grenadines, Caribbean English, St Vincent, variation, social history, grammar
Published online: 13 August 2012
Cited by 6 other publications
Cromer, Donna E.
Daleszynska-Slater, Agata, Miriam Meyerhoff & James A. Walker
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Walker, James A. & Miriam Meyerhoff
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