British Creole

Topics: English language, Dialect, Creole language Pages: 14 (5337 words) Published: February 28, 2013
1. Introduction
This paper clarifies the veritable meaning of British Creole since it is not only a Creole but an ethnolect of the Black British community, whereas some people may say that it is a vernacular of British English. The linguist Peter L. Patrick claims that British Creole is the product of contact between the Creole language varieties of migrants from the Caribbean, and vernacular varieties of Urban English English. (Peter L. Patrick 2003: 231) So one could say that British Creole is a compounded variety of the Jamaican Creole Patois, and a British English Vernacular. But what is British Creole in fact? Because there is confusion in terms of its definition since it is a variety which was created in Britain such as any other British English Vernacular and should therefore not be considered as the lingua franca of different speakers, with different languages in order to interact on a regular basis. (Gerard Van Herk 2012:140) This paper discusses the criteria for British Creole as British English Vernacular, and on the other hand as a Creole, which is the mesolect and the decreolized form of the Jamaican Creole Patois. Therefore it is also of great importance to approach both varieties with regard to its similarities to Standard English, Regional verities and to Creoles in general since they are the result of numerous coinages and borrowings that developed throughout the history of the language.

2. Brief Glimpse at the Varieties of the English language 2.1. What is Standard English?
Standard English can be divided into two parts. The first one is written Standard English which is mostly used in formal written documents and is said to have a solemn and rather archaic character which implies that it can no longer be considered as cultivated speech in Modern English. (Jenny Cheshire. et al. 1997: 52) Written Standard English differs markedly from its spoken counterpart. Therefore it has to be learned and taught separately from each other, to avoid unnecessary written or verbal miscommunications. (Julie Coleman 2012: 23) The other counterpart is spoken Standard English, which is also usually called Received Pronunciation. It is mostly spoken by educated and powerful people and can therefore be seen as the most prestigious variety, of the English language. Received Pronunciation is considered as the standard variety of English which is spoken in the south of England. One could also say that spoken Standard English has a regional and social register because the language of the speaker depends on particular purposes or specific social settings. Standard English can also be considered as a modified standard if there is a slight regional difference, of pronunciation. (Thomas Herbst. et al. 1991: 214) There are various varieties of Standard English, which are considered as the standard form of speech in a specific country, such as the variety of the American Midwest or central and western Canada, for North American English and the variety of the South for Great Britain. (Gerard Van Herk 2012: 53) Since Standard English functions as the national language of communication in Great Britain, one could say that it is associated with high prestige in society, which means that it has a different level of respect, compared to other dialects. Standard English is therefore considered as the overt prestige dialect of the English language, since it is widely respected and recognized by people of all social classes. Vernaculars and dialects on the other hand, are considered as covert or hidden prestige, since they are only seen as prestigious speech in specific social or regional groups. Speakers of a certain dialect community, passively intend to convey their group affiliation, by using a certain dialect. (Gerard Van Herk 2012:55) The last factor that needs to be discussed is that Standard English, in comparison to any other dialect, is the official variety of Britain, since the dialects of the...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about pigdin and creoles
  • What Are the Differences Between a Pidgin, a Creole, and a “Regular Language”? Is There a Clear Distinction? Essay
  • Louisiana Creole Essay
  • Late 19th Century Creole Socie Essay
  • Pidgins and Creoles Essay
  • creole Essay
  • Distinguish Between Pidgins and Creoles Essay
  • Essay on Plantation Society and Creole Society

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free