Textual Evidence on the Nature of Early Barbadian Speech, 1676-1835
On the evidence of textual attestations from 1676-1835, early Barbadian English is shown to have exhibited many more nonstandard features than is generally recognized. Such features, which are commonly, if not exclusively, found in pidgins and creoles, include vowel epenthesis, paragoge and initial s-deletion processes, creole tense-modality-aspect marking, copula absence, the use of invariant no as a preverbal negative and as an emphatic positive marker, the occurrence of one as indefinite article, and a variety of morphologically unmarked pronominal forms. The texts consist of samples of African and Afro-Barbadian speech from historical sources, including ones which linguists have not previously considered. The textual samples are examined century by century, accompanied by a detailed account of the contemporary sociohistorical setting, and interpreted in terms of known and inferred Caribbean patterns of sociolinguistic variation, both in the present and in the past. It is concluded that while early Barbadian speech comprised a range of varieties, creolelike varieties were undoubtedly a part of that range.
Published online: 01 January 1994
Cited by 18 other publications
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