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Mapping Linguistic Diversity in the English-Speaking Caribbean

  • Caroline MyrickEmail author
  • Nicole Eberle
  • Joel Schneier
  • Jeffrey Reaser
Reference work entry

Abstract

While cartographical representations of language variation – or linguistic maps – have improved in sophistication in recent years, the Caribbean has not, in general, been remapped with these new techniques. One reason for this might be that the region remains prone to homogenous labeling, despite being historically, culturally, ethnically, and (thus) linguistically diverse. There are additional challenges to mapping language variation in this region, including geographic barriers, cartographic methods, and data completeness and consistency. While few attempts have been made at mapping phonological and grammatical variation in the Caribbean, this chapter highlights a number of successful attempts. Existing maps illustrate the dramatic linguistic variation of the region, which cannot be explained purely by diffusion (regional patterning), founder effects (historical patterning), political borders, or ethnicity. Instead, individual analysis of islands’ or even communities’ socio-historical situations may be necessary to account for linguistic variation. Demonstrating this approach, three case studies – of Barbados, Jamaica, and Saba – illustrate how different histories, economies, geographies, and social situations among islands result in dramatic language variation.

Keywords

Caribbean Map English Dialects Creole 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Myrick
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicole Eberle
    • 2
  • Joel Schneier
    • 3
  • Jeffrey Reaser
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of SociologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.University of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  4. 4.Department of EnglishNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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