Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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Despite the publication of Aceto & Williams (2003), the languages spoken in the Eastern Caribbean remain underdescribed. In this paper, we outline a project examining language use in Bequia (St Vincent and the Grenadines), based on fieldwork between 2003 and 2005, comprising over 100 hours of sociolinguistic interviews conducted and recorded by community-member researchers. We present quantitative analysis of three aspects of the grammatical system that exhibit variation: absence of the verb BE, verbal negation, and tense-aspect marking. We focus on three communities characterized by different sociodemographic histories. This paper fills a gap in our knowledge of the Eastern Caribbean and provides a descriptive sociolinguistic analysis as a starting point for future work. The findings contribute more generally to our understanding of (post-)colonial and contact varieties of English.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Bequia; Caribbean English; grammar; Grenadines; social history; St Vincent; variation
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