Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


This article explores the insights that research on the emergence of ideologies of modernity and recent discussions of commensurability can offer for the understanding of the construction and maintenance of sociolinguistic hierarchies in Barbados. It takes as its focus (1) the ways in which the drawing of the boundaries of language communities has been linked to broader ideological and political economic processes that surround and depend on linguistic stratification and (2) specific, interaction-level ways in which sociolinguistic stratification is enacted today. It argues that the inclusion of Barbados in the colonial project of producing the modern speaker was underpinned by ideologies of modern governance and was predicated on the political need to transform the enslaved population into modern subjects. This inclusion defined new terms of exclusion and engendered in the speakers a reflexive distance from their English voice.


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