Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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In the anglophone Caribbean, tendencies of endonormative reorientation have been observed in the development of local standards of English. Situated in the school context, this study adds a language attitude perspective on the question of whether and to what extent an endonormative standard of English is emerging in the island of Trinidad. In an accent rating study, 803 secondary students were asked to evaluate the accents of Trinidadian, other anglophone Caribbean, American, and British teachers and to identify their countries of origin. The results indicate that the respondents’ norm orientation is multidimensional and includes exo- and endonormative influences: first, there is a general coexistence of different standards since no standard serves as a superordinate norm. Second, there is no clear-cut distinction between exo- and endonormative accents, but fine-grained differences in the ratings: British and American voices received slightly higher ratings than local ones, but an American-influenced Trinidadian voice was also highly appreciated. These findings provide some new perspectives for evolutionary models of World Englishes and new insights for the discussion of standards in Trinidad, the wider anglophone Caribbean, and other small postcolonial speech communities where different local and global norms interact.


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