Essay about Jamaican Patois

4705 Words19 Pages
Jamaican Patois Jamaican Patois, otherwise known as Patwa, Afro. Jamaican, just plain Jamaican or, Creole, is a language that has been until quite recently referred to as"ungrammatical English."(Adams, 199 1, p . I 1) Creole languages are actually not unique to Jamaica, they are found on every continent although their speakers often do not realize what they are. The rest of the terms refer strictly to Jamaican Creole. Creoles are languages that usually form as the result of some human upheaval which makes it impossible for people to use their own languages to communicate. What people often refer to as the 'bad' or 'broken-English' of Jamaica are actually local Creoles that usually come about through a situation of partial language…show more content…
They looked down on the newly arrived African slaves who spoke their indigenous tongues. To this day there is a strong awareness, even among those at the bottom of the social scale, of the difference between the city and country, especially the remote hill settlements."Bungo talk,"is the term placed on the old-fashioned expressions and turn of phrase. The debate surrounding the use of Patois as opposed to Standard English includes a number of issues and dates back to the times of slavery when Jamaicans had Standard English presented as a superior language and the indigenous language was denigrated to an inferior status. Today, more than 90% of the 2.5 million people in Jamaica are descendants of slaves brought from western Africa by the British. English is the official language but, Patois is the local language and still holds its' African roots (Pryce, 1997, p.238-9) Most people in Jamaican are somewhere along the continuum between speaking British 'Standard' English and, the local Patois. There is a great deal of linguistic flexibility, depending upon who someone is speaking with, meaning, a Jamaican would probably use different language when speaking with
Open Document