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COMMUNICATION STUDIES

CREOLE FEATURES

PHONOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES
Phonological

features which make Creole


different from English.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


Voiceless

th - thin, thick, think, thousand


This English sound is consistently rendered
[t] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


Voiced

th that, them, this


This English sound is consistently rendered
[d] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


[o]

pot, clock, form, morning


This English sound is consistently rendered
[a] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


[aw]

trauma, cough, fall


This English sound is consistently rendered
[aa] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


[er]

mother, father, water


This English sound is consistently rendered
[a] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


[ing]

in verbs coming, morning, going


This English sound is consistently rendered
[in] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


[dl]

middle, fiddle, waddle, model


This English sound is consistently rendered
[gl] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

IN ENGLISH, NOT IN CREOLE


[tl]

little, kettle, bottle


This English sound is consistently rendered
[kl] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

CHANGED SOUND
[er]

burn, curse, dirty, turn, work


This English sound is changed in some words
to [o].
[v] vex, never, devil, navel
This English sound is rendered [b] in
corresponding Jamaican Creole words and
corresponding words in other Creoles of the
Caribbean.

CHANGED SOUND
[tr]

truck, trousers, trumpet


This English sound is consistently rendered
[ch] in some corresponding Jamaican Creole
words and corresponding words in other
Creoles of the Caribbean.

CONSONANT CLUSTER
REDUCTION
Initial

[st] stick, stand, stop


This consonant cluster is reduced to [t]
Final [st] first, best, worst
This consonant cluster is reduced to [s]
Initial [sk] scatter, scrape, scrawny, skin
This consonant cluster is reduced to [k]

OMISSION OF SOUNDS
Final

[d] sound hand, end, find


The [h] is omitted in corresponding Creole
words e.g. hand, house, happen.
The [h] is added in corresponding Creole
words e.g. evening, all, eye.
This omission and adding of [h] is not as
widespread as the others.

INSERTION OF SOUND
[u]

before a long vowel sound score, goal,


gold, whole, fold, more
This English sound is consistently rendered
[uo] in corresponding Jamaican Creole words
and corresponding words in other Creoles of
the Caribbean.

INSERTION OF SOUND
[u]

smoke, smell, smile


[i] snake, sneakers, snow, Smith, taste
Final syllable is added to words must,
gourd and such Creole expressions as rat,
gerli gerli, liki, liki, roni roni.

REVERSAL OF SOUNDS
[sk]

desk, ask, husk


[il] film
[tifi] certificate
[io] - violence

WORDS PRONOUNCED DIFFERENTLY


Cutlass

kotlis
Meagre maaga
Celotex salitex
Slippery sipl
Catch kech
Shove shub
Escoveitch - skobiich

MORPHOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES
Morphology

is concerned with the smallest


units of language which convey meaning.
The smallest units of a language which
convey meanings are referred to as
morphemes.

PRESENT TENSE
English

has two forms of the present tense


JC represents present time with one form of
the verb for all persons.
mi taak wi taak
yu taak unu taak
im taak dem taak
mieri taak
di bwai dem taak

The

verb in the present is unmarked.

PAST TIME
SE

uses ed as the past time morpheme.


JC does not mark the verb for past time.
mi com fi yu
mi com fi yu yeside

JC

uses other ways of marking past time.

MARKING PAST TIME


The

context is enough to indicate past time.

yu taak to im wen yu go a di yaad?


yes, mi taak tu im

Adverbs

of time indicate past time.

mi tel im yeside/laas wiik/tuu mont a bak


chuusde mi go a maakit an me bai, mi si. Mi
chat wid im mi waak til mi taiyad

MARKING THE PLUPERFECT


Particles

(wen/ben) indicate the pluperfect.

dem wee go a maakit

Present

dem kom
Past dem kom yeside
Perfect dem kom
Pluperfect dem wee kom

THE CONTINUOUS
SE

adds ing to the verb and uses to be.

They are dancing.

JC

uses the particle a and the unmarked


verb.

dem a daans

The

past continuous uses a past time particle

dem en a daans

PLURALIZATION

SE adds s to the noun


JC nouns are unmarked for number.

wan man. tuu man.

The particle dem is used after the definite article.

di man dem a plie futbaal

Words which themselves indicate number are used.

nuf mango, werl a gerl, plenti fish, huol hiip a dem

MORPHOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES
The

grammatical structures marked in


English with morphemes are NOT marked
with morphemes in Creole because the
words remain unmarked.

SYNTACTIC DIFFERENCES
The

syntax of a language is its sentence


structure.

QUESTIONS/INTERROGATIVES
SE

(in its simplest syntactic arrangement)


reverses the order of subject and verb for
interrogatives.

She is here. / Is she here?

JC

uses the same syntactic structure for


declarative and interrogative sentences.

shi de ya / shi de ya?

QUESTIONS/INTERROGATIVES
As

an oral language, intonation is sufficient


for indicating interrogatives.

NEGATION
SJE

places not before the word to be made


negative (in its simplest syntactic
arrangement).
JC inserts no before verbs and adjectives
to make sentences negative.
dem taiyad/priti
im skip skuul

dem no taiyad/priti
im no skip skuul

DOUBLE NEGATIVES
English

does not allow double negatives.


Creole uses double negatives.

ABSENCE OF THE COPULA


The

verb to be is an integral part of the


syntax of some sentences in English.
In corresponding Creole sentences, the
copula is absent.

INSERTION OF SE
The

word se is inserted after cognitive


(thinking) verbs such as think, believe, know.
It is a Twi word.

SERIAL VERBS
In

SE, a conjunction must separate a list of


verbs.

She ran, skipped and jumped to school.

A serial

verb has more than one verb in a


sentence without any interruption by a
conjunction.

piita ron go tel ar (3 verbs in the series)

PREDICATE ADJECTIVES
The

predicate in SE must have a verb.

She dances

In

JC, an adjective can form the predicate of


the sentence.
shi sik
mwe malad

FRONTING/FRONT FOCUS
JC

can place different parts of the syntactic


structure at the beginning for emphasis.
Fronting is achieved by using the particle a
before the word placed at the beginning of
the sentence.

FRONTING/FRONT FOCUS
im

tiif di bag
a im tiif di bag
a tiif im tiif di bag
a di bag im tiif

REDUPLICATION
This

is the repetition of parts of the syntax for


emphasis.
SE uses adverbs of manner to express what
JC emphasizes through reduplication. e.g.
very, extremely

LEXICON
The

lexicon of a language is its set of


vocabulary items/words.

ENGLISH PRONOUN/ADJECTIVE
SE

uses different pronouns as subject, object


and possessive pronouns/adjectives.
JC uses the same pronouns for subject,
object and possessive pronouns/adjectives.

SECOND PERSON PRONOUNS


There

is no distinction between singular and


plural English second person pronouns
(you).
Creole makes a distinction between the
singular second person pronoun (yu) and the
plural second person pronoun
(unu/yaal/aalyu)

PRONOUNS (GENDER)
SE

makes a distinction between masculine


and feminine pronouns.
JC sometimes uses the masculine pronoun
for both males and females.

NO GENDER DISTINCTION
English

uses words which distinguish


between males and females.
Creole does not always use nouns which
distinguish between the genders.
cow (cow and bull)

ADJECTIVES/ADVERBS
SJE

makes a distinction between the form of


adjectives and that of adverbs.
The dress is beautiful.
She is beautifully
dressed
Her pronunciation is good. She speaks well.

JC

uses the same form for adjectives and


adverbs.
di frak priti
a waa gud spiich

shi jres priti


shi taak gud

WORDS IN DIFFERENT
GRAMMATICAL CATEGORIES
Some

words are only used as nouns or


prepositions or adjectives in English.
These nouns are used as nouns and verbs in
Creole
These prepositions are used as prepositions
and verbs in Creole.
These adjectives are used as adjectives and
verbs in Creole

WORDS WITH DIFFERENT MEANINGS


ignorant

shi ignarant sa
favour im fieva im faada
disadvantage dem disadvantij di likl gyal

WORDS WITH WIDER MEANINGS


han

hand and arm


fut foot and leg
stomok stomach and chest
dark di pikni daak. im go haid wen wi kom
dead how di plies so ded?

JUXTAPOSED WORDS/CALQUES
Words

that SE expresses in one word


drap dong faint
yai waata/mout waata tears/saliva
fut batam/Han migl/beli batam/nek bak

WORDS EXISTING ONLY IN CREOLE


nyam

- eat
chink - bedbug
pikini - child
bunununus extremely beautiful
duotish stupid/foolish
krumoojin - selfish
butu person

AFRICAN RETENTION
Use

of paralinguistic features to
convey/change meaning.

This was already demonstrated with declaratives


and interrogatives
E.g. it kyaa iit. (It is edible)
it kyaa iit. (It is inedible)

Reduction

of English clusters.

AFRICAN RETENTION
Unmarked

verbs
Unmarked nouns
Use of particles (preverbal markers) e.g.
continuous, past time markers, se
Serial verbs
Predicate adjectives
Front focusing
Reduplication

AFRICAN RETENTION
Insertion

of final syllable
Insertion of se, a Twi word, after cognitive
verbs.
Calques
Some Creole words are African words.