Earlier Caribbean English and Creole in writing

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In research on Creoles, historical written texts have in recent decades been fruitfully employed to shed light on the diachronic development of these languages and the nature of Creole genesis. They have so far been much less frequently used to derive social information about these communities and to improve our understanding of the sociolinguistics and stylistic structure of these languages. This paper surveys linguistic research on early written texts in the anglophone Caribbean and takes a critical look at the theories and methods employed to study these texts. It emphases the sociolinguistic value of the texts and provides some exemplary analyses of early Creole documents.


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