Language issues in the Caribbean region are of interest for several reasons. For one thing, language education continues to be a major challenge given the relative diversity observed, each Caribbean territory having one or several vernaculars that co-exist with the standard. Moreover, the stories of English in the Caribbean are closely entwined with phenomena such as creolization, language development and acquisition.
The course will examine the historical, linguistic and social forces that have influenced linguistic outcomes in the English-speaking Caribbean generally. Although reference will be made to the widely documented varieties spoken in Jamaica and Trinidadian, for instance, we will draw data mainly from the lesser-studied territories, namely Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Virgin Islands and Dominica. Within these varieties, the major focus will be on morpho-phonological and syntactic features compared to the "parent language(s)". Discussions will hinge on the degree of innovation identifiable in these varieties.
A reading list will be provided well ahead of the beginning of the course.
The course will be given online, via Zoom, in a fully synchronized manner, which means that you will log on and follow the course live. To ensure that we all remain alert and motivated during the session, they will last only 3 hours per day, even though this will be a “block seminar”.
Assessment will contain but not be limited to:
30% - regular attendance and active participation (asking questions based on course content and analyses of the reading assignments)
70% - Assignment (e.g. short presentation during the seminar)