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Leeward Caribbean Creole English

Leeward Caribbean Creole English, also known by the names of the various islands on which it is spoken (Antiguan Creole, Saint Kitts Creole, etc.) is an English-based creole language spoken in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, namely the countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

There are subtle differences in the language's usage by different speakers, and islanders often use it in combination with Standard English. The tendency to switch back and forth from Creole to Standard English often seems to correlate with the class status of the speaker. Persons of higher social status tend to switch between Standard English and Creole more readily, due to their more extensive formal education in the English-language school system. Creole usage is more common, and is less similar to Standard English, as speakers descend the socioeconomic ladder.

In the years before Antigua and Barbuda's independence (in 1981), Standard English was widely spoken. However, after independence, Antiguans began to take a certain measure of pride in their language[citation needed].
Many Creole words are derived from English or African origins. The creole was formed when slaves owned by English planters imitated the English of their enslavers but pronounced it with their own inflections. This can be easily seen in phrases such as "Me nah go," meaning "I am not going," or in "Ent it?," presumably a cognate of "Ain't it?"

Antiguan Creole is used in almost every aspect of life in Antigua. In all schools, during class hours, it is required of students to speak Standard English. This policy is especially exercised in private owned schools. Most media and mainstream communication is written and spoken in Standard English, although Antiguan Creole is sometimes used humorously or as a way of identifying with the local public.

Use of Antiguan Creole varies depending on socio-economic class. In general, the higher and middle classes use it amongst friends and family but switch to Standard English in the public sphere. The lower class tend to use Antiguan Creole in almost every sector of life.

[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiguan_Creole]



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