American influence on written Caribbean English

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This paper presents a diachronic analysis of press news reports in the Bahamas and in Trinidad and Tobago with a view to shedding light on the question of Americanisation. We analyse four corpora, one from the 1960s and one contemporary from each country. The following features are studied: (1) contractions of negatives and verb forms, (2) the <i>be</i>-passive, (3) relative <i>that</i> vs. <i>which</i>, and (4) pseudotitles. Our results show that Americanisation is a factor to be reckoned with in Caribbean English, as are colloquialisation and densification; at the same time, Caribbean journalistic writing definitely retains a distinct flavour of formality which distinguishes it from newspaper language not just in the US but also in Britain. Keywords: Caribbean; Americanisation; newspapers; Bahamas; Trinidad and Tobago


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