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Urban Jamaican Creole: Variations in the Mesolect

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A synchronic sociolinguistic study of Jamaican Creole (JC) as spoken in urban Kingston, this work uses variationist methods to closely investigate two key concepts of Atlantic Creole studies: the mesolect, and the creole continuum.
One major concern is to describe how linguistic variation patterns with social influences. Is there a linguistic continuum? How does it correlate with social factors? The complex organization of an urbanizing Caribbean society and the highly variable...
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England 1999 Hardcover 1st Edition New This mint, shrink-wrapped by the publisher, First Edition hardback, University of Essex, England, 1999, has a glossy scarlet cover. This ... is part of a series called: Varieties of English Around the World G17. Contents: -Tables, Figures, Maps, The Urban Speech Community of Kingston, Jamaica Field Methods and Data Analysis, Phonolexical Variation: Palatal Glides, Phonological Variation: Consonant Cluster Simplification, Creole Pre-Verbal Past-Markers, Past-Marking by Verb Inflection, Social Variation in the Veeton Speech Community, References, Index of Language Varieties, Index of Subjects. The book size is 6" w x 8.75" h with 329 pages. ISBN 1 55619 448 X. "A synchronic sociolinguistic study of Jamaican Creole (JC) as spoken in urban Kingston, this work uses variationist methods to closely investigate two key concepts of Atlantic Creole studies: the mesolect, and the creole continuum. One major concern is to describe how linguistic variation patterns with social influe Read more Show Less

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1998 Hard Cover New New Excellent Book. Varieties of English Around the World G17. 329 pp.

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Overview

A synchronic sociolinguistic study of Jamaican Creole (JC) as spoken in urban Kingston, this work uses variationist methods to closely investigate two key concepts of Atlantic Creole studies: the mesolect, and the creole continuum.
One major concern is to describe how linguistic variation patterns with social influences. Is there a linguistic continuum? How does it correlate with social factors? The complex organization of an urbanizing Caribbean society and the highly variable nature of mesolectal speech norms and behavior present a challenge to sociolinguistic variation theory.
The second chief aim is to elucidate the nature of mesolectal grammar. Creole studies have emphasized the structural integrity of basilectal varieties, leaving the status of intermediate mesolectal speech in doubt. How systematic is urban JC grammar? What patterns occur when basilectal creole constructions alternate with acrolectal English elements? Contextual constraints on choice of forms support a picture of the mesolect as a single grammar, variable yet internally-ordered, which has evolved a fine capacity to serve social functions.
Drawing on a year’s fieldwork in a mixed-class neighborhood of the capital city, the author (a speaker of JC) describes the speech community’s history, demographics, and social geography, locating speakers in terms of their social class, occupation, education, age, sex, residence, and urban orientation. The later chapters examine a recorded corpus for linguistic variables that are phono-lexical (palatal glides), phonological (consonant cluster simplification), morphological (past-tense inflection), and syntactic (pre-verbal tense and aspect marking), using quantitative methods of analysis (including Varbrul). The Jamaican urban mesolect is portrayed as a coherent system showing stratified yet regular linguistic behavior, embedded in a well-defined speech community; despite the incorporation of forms and constraints from English, it is quintessentially creole in character.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Maps
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 The Urban Speech Community of Kingston, Jamaica 23
Ch. 3 Field Methods and Data Analysis 65
Ch. 4 Phonolexical Variation: Palatal Glides 83
Ch. 5 Phonological Variation: Consonant Cluster Simplification 121
Ch. 6 Creole Pre-Verbal Past-Markers 167
Ch. 7 Past-Marking by Verb Inflection 223
Ch. 8 Social Variation in the Veeton Speech Community 267
References 297
Index of Language Varieties 321
Index of Subjects 323
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