La Trobe
1215074_Walker,J_2023.pdf (242.84 kB)

Complementation and the creole continuum in the Eastern Caribbean

Download (242.84 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-28, 03:33 authored by James WalkerJames Walker, M Meyerhoff
This article examines complement clauses in the Caribbean English spoken in Bequia (St Vincent and the Grenadines). Despite a small population (about 5,000), physical proximity and pervasive kinship ties across villages, Bequia English is characterised by considerable inter-group differentiation, suggesting the existence of a (post-)creole continuum. We analyse variation in the complementisers used to introduce finite (that, zero) and non-finite subordinate clauses (for, to, zero) and relative clauses (that, wh-forms, zero) in recorded conversations with 26 speakers from four villages. While frequency of complementiser use differs markedly across villages, patterns of variation do not present a straightforward continuum between more (Standard-)English-like and more creole-like speech. Examination of the linguistic constraints conditioning complementiser choice provides evidence for distinct emergent endonormative patterns for Bequia English that belie the superficial differences between villages. We argue that linguistic details serve as a common means of expressing a highly local variety of English.

History

Publication Date

2023-03-01

Journal

World Englishes

Volume

42

Issue

1

Pagination

(p. 9-26)

Publisher

Wiley

ISSN

0883-2919

Rights Statement

© 2022 The Authors. World Englishes published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC