“Historic Low Prestige and Seeds of Change: Attitudes Toward Jamaican Creole”

Topics: Jamaica, English-based creole languages, Creole language Pages: 3 (1117 words) Published: September 11, 2012
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Jamaican Creole (known to its speakers as Patois) is a language of ethnic identification for roughly two and a half million people in the island of Jamaica, and overseas for many thousands of native speakers. The origins of the Jamaican Creole postdate 1660, in the interaction of British colonists and African slaves. Jamaican language and its place in society reflects the brutal history of Jamaica as a British sugar colony until Independence in 1962. Creolization in the broadest sense led to emergence of new cultural and social institutions, including language, but the subordination of Jamaican Creole to English (the native tongue of a small minority) has persisted to the present day, with consequences for education, economy, and psychological independence. Only in the 21st century has the Jamaican government seriously begun to explore language planning and recognition of Jamaican Creole as a national language. The article “Historic low prestige and seeds of change: Attitudes towards Jamaican Creole” studies the changing attitude towards the Jamaican Creole. Unfamiliar words and definitions:

Pejoration: The process or condition of worsening or degrading Acrolect: The language variety of a speech community closest to the standard or prestige form of a language. Corroborate: To confirm or give support to.

Mesolectal: Any variety of language in a Creole continuum that is intermediate between the basilect (most distinct) and the acrolect (standard variety of major language, in this case, English) Morphological: The patterns of a word formation in a particular language, including inflection, deviation, and composition. Phonological: The study of the distribution and patterning rules governing pronunciation.

After looking up what these various words meant, I went back into the reading and reread the sections that included the word, thus giving me a...
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