On the influence of the standard norm of Haitian Creole on the Cap Haïtien dialect
Evidence from sociolinguistic variation in the third person singular pronoun
Among French-based creoles, Haitian Creole has the highest degree of standardization, with a written norm, Standard Haitian Creole (SHC), based on Port-au-Prince monolinguals’ speech. To evaluate the influence of SHC on regional varieties, we conducted, in and around Cap Haïtien, a sociolinguistic study of Northern Haitian Creole (Capois). In addition to stereotypical features such as the possessive kin a + pronoun (vs. SHC pa + pronoun), we uncovered several Capois features still in widespread use in Northern Haiti. In this article, we focus on the most frequently occurring variable, the third person singular pronoun (3sg), which alternates between SHC li/l, and Capois i/y. We show that SHC li has yet to replace Capois i, which is preferred by a large proportion of community members. For both the rural and urban populations, this variable is conditioned by syntactic and phonological factors. Despite shared tendencies, urban speakers’ lower rate of Capois variant use and stronger phonological conditioning may be due to their greater exposure to speakers from other areas of Haiti, and to closer contact with the standard. Although most speakers, especially older ones, recognized SHC’s higher prestige, they evidenced more positive attitudes toward their own speech.
Keywords: Haitian Creole, standardization, regional variation, language attitudes, dialect contact, linguistic constraints
Published online: 09 April 2015
Bentolila, Alain, Pierre Nougayrol, & Pierre Vernet
Bollée, Annegret & Pamela Nembach
CIA World Factbook
2003 Grammaticalisations en créole haïtien: morceaux choisis. Creolica. http://www.creolica.net/article.php3?id_article=19 (19 May 2013)
Freeman, Bryant C. & Laguerre, Jowel
Hall, Robert A., Jr
Hyppolite, Michelson P.
Jean-Charles, Hervé L.
Laguerre, Pierre M.
Lefebvre, Claire, Hélène Magloire-Holly, & Nanie Piou
Longuefosse, Mozart F.
McConnell, H. Ormonde & Eugene Swann
Meyerhoff, Miriam & James A. Walker
Poplack, Shana & Douglas C. Walker
Racine, Marie Marcelle Buteau
Rickford, John R.
Robinson, John, Helen Lawrence & Sali Tagliamonte
Schieffelin, Bambi B. & Rachelle Charlier Doucet
Singler, John V.
Targète, Jean & Raphaël Urciolo
Valdman, Albert, Yves Joseph, Craige Roberts, & Sarah Yoder
Valdman, Albert, Charles Pooser, & Rozevel Jean-Baptiste
Valdman, Albert & Iskra Iskrova
Valdman, Albert, Iskra Iskrova, Nicolas André, & Jacques Pierre
Cited by 2 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 13 july 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.