Phonological Variation in Rural Jamaican Schools

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This book investigates variation in the classroom speech of 7-year-old children who are learning Standard Jamaican English as a second language variety in rural Jamaica. For sociolinguists and second language/dialect researchers interested in the acquisition and use of sociolinguistic variables, an important challenge is how to efficiently account for language learning mechanisms and use. To date, this book is the first to offer an interdisciplinary look into phonological and phonetic variation observed in primary school in Jamaica, that is from the perspective of classic variationist and quantitative sociolinguistics and a usage-based model. Both frameworks function as explanatory for the children’s learning of phono-stylistic variation, which they encounter in their immediate linguistic environment, i.e. most often through their teachers’ speech. This book is intended for sociolinguists interested in child language variation, linguists working on formal aspects of the languages of the Caribbean, applied linguists concerned with the teaching and learning of second language phonology, and any researchers interested in applying variationist and quantitative methods to classroom second language learning.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Bilingualism; English linguistics; Creole studies; Language acquisition; Phonology

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Freiburg

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