Between 1066 and 1362, French was the official language of the England. English was viewed as an inferior vulgar hybridised Creole of Anglo-Saxon, Jutish, and Danish dialects. (Incidentally, Norman French itself could be described as a vulgar hybridised Creole of Gaulish, Latin, Norse, and Frankish dialects). Obviously, that opinion has changed, and in view of the humble origins of English it might be expected that English be understanding and supportive of its own dialects and Creoles. For many centuries, in Jamaica itself, English has been the prestige form, the sought after standard, whereas Jamaican Creole has been viewed as an inferior way of speaking; as a vulgar hybridised Creole of English, various West African dialects, and others. (Notice the emboldened words.) There are many features of Jamaican Creole, which mark it out as distinct from Standard English. For example, a recent email that I received read, “Wat ah way you know nuff people eh.” Most people who speak English as their first language would not understand that as a spoken phrase even if they could grasp its meaning from its written form. First, I’m going to present the pronominal systems of both English and Jamaican Creole and examine the strengths and weaknesses of both systems, then, I’m going to briefly discuss plural marking in both languages. Next, I will discuss the interesting origin of certain Jamaican Creole words and finally, i will discuss the need for standardisation in Jamaican Creole if it is ever to become an officially recognised language.
The pronominal systemThe pronominal system of SE has a four-way distinction of person, number, case, and gender. Compared to Jamaican Creole there are a lot of differences. . | Singular Nominative | . | Singular Nominative | . | Possesive | . | Plural | . | Possesive |
. | Masc. | Fem. | Masc. | Fem. | Masc. | Fem. | Masc. | Fem. | . |
1st Person | I | . | me | . | my | . | we... [continues]
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