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JAMAICAN PATOIS, known locally as PATOIS (PATWA or PATWAH) and called JAMAICAN CREOLE by linguists, is an English-based creole language with West African influences (a majority of loan words of Akan origin) spoken primarily in Jamaica
Jamaica
and the Jamaican diaspora . The language developed in the 17th century, when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by the slaveholders: British English , Scots and Hiberno-English . It exhibits a gradation between more conservative creole forms and forms virtually identical to Standard English (i.e. metropolitan Standard English).

Jamaicans refer to their language as patois . The term patois comes from Old French
Old French
, patois "local or regional dialect" (earlier "rough, clumsy, or uncultivated speech"), possibly from the verb patoier, "to treat roughly", from pate "paw", from Old Low Franconian *patta "paw, sole of the foot" + -ois, a pejorative suffix. The term may have arisen from the notion of a clumsy or rough manner of speaking.

Jamaican pronunciation and vocabulary are significantly different from English, despite heavy use of English words or derivatives. Jamaican Patois displays similarities to the pidgin and creole languages of West Africa, due to their common descent from the blending of African substrate languages with European languages.

Significant Jamaican Patois-speaking communities exist among Jamaican expatriates in Miami
Miami
, New York City
New York City
, Toronto
Toronto
, Hartford
Hartford
, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
, and Panama
Panama
(in the Caribbean
Caribbean
coast), also London
London
, Birmingham
Birmingham
, Manchester
Manchester
, and Nottingham
Nottingham
. A mutually intelligible variety is found in San Andrés y Providencia Islands, Colombia, brought to the island by descendants of Jamaican Maroons (escaped slaves) in the 18th century. Mesolectal forms are similar to very basilectal Belizean Kriol .

Jamaican Patois exists mostly as a spoken language and is also heavily used for musical purposes, especially in reggae and dancehall as well as other genres. Although standard British English
British English
is used for most writing in Jamaica, Jamaican Patois has been gaining ground as a literary language for almost a hundred years. Claude McKay published his book of Jamaican poems Songs of Jamaica
Jamaica
in 1912. Patois and English are frequently used for stylistic contrast (codeswitching ) in new forms of internet writing.

CONTENTS

* 1 Phonology * 2 Sociolinguistic variation

* 3 Grammar

* 3.1 Pronominal system * 3.2 Copula * 3.3 Negation

* 4 Orthography

* 5 Vocabulary

* 5.1 Example phrases

* 6 Literature and film

* 6.1 Bible

* 7 See also * 8 References * 9 Bibliography * 10 Further reading * 11 External links

PHONOLOGY

Accounts of basilectal Jamaican Patois postulate around 21 phonemic consonants and between 9 and 16 vowels .

Consonants

LABIAL ALVEOLAR Post- alveolar PALATAL 2 VELAR GLOTTAL

NASAL

m

n

ɲ

ŋ

STOP p b t d tʃ dʒ c ɟ k ɡ

FRICATIVE f v s z ʃ

(h )1

Approximant /Lateral

ɹ

j

w

l

^1 The status of /h/ as a phoneme is dialectal: in western varieties, it is a full phoneme and there are minimal pairs (/hiit/ 'hit' and /iit/ 'eat'); in central and eastern varieties, the presence of in a word is in free variation with no consonant so that the words for 'hand' and 'and' (both underlyingly /an/) may be pronounced or . ^2 The palatal stops , and are considered phonemic by some accounts and phonetic by others. For the latter interpretation, their appearance is included in the larger phenomenon of phonetic palatalization .

Examples of palatalization include:

* /kiuu/ → → ('a quarter quart (of rum)') * /ɡiaad/ → → ('guard') * /piaa + piaa/ → → ('weak')

Voiced stops are implosive whenever in the onset of prominent syllables (especially word-initially) so that /biit/ ('beat') is pronounced and /ɡuud/ ('good') as .

Before a syllabic /l/, the contrast between alveolar and velar consonants has been historically neutralized with alveolar consonants becoming velar so that the word for 'bottle' is /bakl̩/ and the word for 'idle' is /aiɡl̩/. Vowels of Jamaican Patois. from Harry (2006 :128)

Jamaican Patois exhibits two types of vowel harmony ; peripheral vowel harmony, wherein only sequences of peripheral vowels (that is, /i/, /u/, and /a/) can occur within a syllable; and back harmony, wherein /i/ and /u/ cannot occur within a syllable together (that is, /uu/ and /ii/ are allowed but * /ui/ and * /iu/ are not). These two phenomena account for three long vowels and four diphthongs :

VOWEL EXAMPLE GLOSS

/ii/ /beeni/ 'tiny'

/aa/ /baaba/ 'barber'

/uu/ /boot/ 'booth'

/ia/ /biak/ 'bake'

/ai/ /bike/ 'bike'

/ua/ /boat/ 'boat'

/au/ /town/ 'town'

SOCIOLINGUISTIC VARIATION

Jamaican Patois features a creole continuum (or a linguistic continuum): the variety of the language closest to the lexifier language (the acrolect ) cannot be distinguished systematically from intermediate varieties (collectively referred to as the mesolect ) or even from the most divergent rural varieties (collectively referred to as the basilect ). This situation came about with contact between speakers of a number of Niger–Congo languages
Niger–Congo languages
and various dialects of English, the latter of which were all perceived as prestigious and the use of which carried socio-economic rewards. The span of a speaker's command of the continuum generally corresponds to social context.

GRAMMAR

The tense/aspect system of Jamaican Patois is fundamentally unlike that of English. There are no morphological marked past participles; instead, two different participle words exist: en and a. These are not verbs, but simply invariant particles that cannot stand alone like the English to be. Their function also differs from the English.

According to Bailey (1966), the progressive category is marked by /a~da~de/. Alleyne (1980) claims that /a~da/ marks the progressive and that the habitual aspect is unmarked but by its accompaniment with words such as "always", "usually", etc. (i.e. is absent as a grammatical category). Mufwene (1984) and Gibson and Levy (1984) propose a past-only habitual category marked by /juusta/ as in /weɹ wi juusta liv iz not az kuol az iiɹ/ ('where we used to live is not as cold as here')

For the present tense, an uninflected verb combining with an iterative adverb marks habitual meaning as in /tam aawez nuo kieti tel pan im/ ('Tom always knows when Katy tells/has told about him').

* en is a tense indicator * a is an aspect marker * (a) go is used to indicate the future

* /mi ron/

* I run (habitually); I ran

* /mi a ron/ or /mi de ron/

* I am running

* /a ɹon mi dida ron/ or /a ɹon mi ben(w)en a ɹon/

* I was running

* /mi did ron/ or /mi ben(w)en ron/

* I have run; I had run

* /mi a ɡo ron/

* I am going to run; I will run

Like other Caribbean
Caribbean
Creoles (that is, Guyanese Creole and San Andrés-Providencia Creole ; Sranan Tongo is excluded) /fi/ has a number of functions, including:

* Directional, dative, or benefactive preposition

* /dem a fait fi wi/ ('They are fighting for us')

* Genitive preposition (that is, marker of possession)

* /dat a fi mi buk/ ('that's my book')

* Modal auxiliary expressing obligation or futurity

* /im fi kom op ja/ ('he ought to come up here')

* Pre-infinitive complementizer

* /unu hafi kiip samtiŋ faɹ de ɡini piipl-dem fi biit dem miuzik/ ('you have to contribute something to the Guinean People for playing their music')

PRONOMINAL SYSTEM

The pronominal system of Standard English has a four-way distinction of person, number, gender and case. Some varieties of Jamaican Patois do not have the gender or case distinction, but all varieties distinguish between the second person singular and plural (you).

* I, me = /mi/ * you, you (singular) = /yuh/ * he, him = /im/ (pronounced in the basilect varieties) * she, her = /shee/ar or /im/ (no gender distinction in basilect varieties) * we, us, our = /wi/ * you (plural) = /unu/ * they, them, their = /dem/

COPULA

* the Jamaican Patois equative verb is also a

* e.g. /mi a di tiitʃa/ ('I am the teacher')

* Jamaican Patois has a separate locative verb deh

* e.g. /wi deh a london/ or /wi deh inna london/ ('we are in London')

* with true adjectives in Jamaican Patois, no copula is needed

* e.g. /mi ole nau/ ('I am old now')

This is akin to Spanish in that both have 2 distinct forms of the verb "to be" - ser and estar - in which ser is equative and estar is locative. Other languages, such as Portuguese and Italian, make a similar distinction. (See Romance Copula .)

NEGATION

* /no/ is used as a present tense negator:

* /if kau no did nuo au im tɹuotuol tan im udn tʃaans pieɹsiid/ ('If the cow knew that his throat wasn't capable of swallowing a pear seed, he wouldn't have swallowed it')

* /kiaan/ is used in the same way as English can't

* /it a puoɹ tiŋ dat kiaan maʃ ant/ ('It is a poor thing that can't mash an ant')

* /neva/ is a negative past participle.

* /Jan neva tiif di moni/ ('John did not steal the money')

ORTHOGRAPHY

Patois has long been written with various respellings compared to English so that, for example, the word "there" might be written ⟨de⟩, ⟨deh⟩, or ⟨dere⟩, and the word "three" as ⟨tree⟩, ⟨tri⟩, or ⟨trii⟩. Standard English spelling is often used and a nonstandard spelling sometimes becomes widespread even though it is neither phonetic nor standard (e.g. ⟨pickney⟩ for /pikni/, 'child').

In 2002, the Jamaican Language
Language
Unit was set up at the University of the West Indies at Mona to begin standardizing the language, with the aim of supporting non-English-speaking Jamaicans according to their constitutional guarantees of equal rights, as services of the state are normally provided in English, which a majority of people cannot speak fluently. The vast majority of such persons are speakers of Jamaican, widely referred to as Patwa. It was argued that failure to provide services of the state in a language in such general use or discriminatory treatment by officers of the state based on the inability of a citizen to use English violates the rights of citizens. The proposal was made that freedom from discrimination on the ground of language be inserted into the Charter of Rights. They standardized the Jamaican alphabet as follows:

Short vowels LETTER PATOIS ENGLISH

i sik sick

e bel bell

a ban band

o cut cut

u cook cook

Long vowels LETTER PATOIS ENGLISH

ii tea tea

aa bawl ball

uu shoot shoot

Diphthongs LETTER PATOIS ENGLISH

ie cake cake

uo grow grow

ai bite bite

ou cow cow

Nasal vowels are written with -hn, as in kyaahn (can't) and iihn (isn't it?)

Consonants LETTER PATOIS ENGLISH

b bake bake

d dawg dog

ch church church

f food food

g goat goat

h hen hen

j judge judge

k kite kite

l lean lean

m man man

n nice nice

ng sing sing

p peel peel

r run run

s sik sick

sh shout shout

t two two

v vote vote

w wile wild

y young young

z zoo zoo

zh verjan version

h is written according to local pronunciation, so that hen (hen) and en (end) are distinguished in writing for speakers of western Jamaican, but not for those of central Jamaican.

VOCABULARY

See also: List of African words in Jamaican Patois

Jamaican Patois contains many loanwords , most of which are African in origin, primarily from Twi .

Many loanwords come from English, but are also borrowed from Spanish , Portuguese , Hindi
Hindi
, Arawak and African languages
African languages
as well as Scottish and Irish dialects.

Examples from African languages
African languages
include /se/ meaning that (in the sense of "he told me that..." = /im tel mi se/), taken from Ashanti Twi , and Duppy meaning ghost, taken from the Twi word dupon ('cotton tree root'), because of the African belief of malicious spirits originating in the root of trees (in Jamaica
Jamaica
and Ghana, particularly the cotton tree known in both places as "Odom"). The pronoun /unu/, used for the plural form of you, is taken from the Igbo language
Igbo language
. Red eboe describes a fair-skinned black person because of the reported account of fair skin among the Igbo in the mid 1700s. De meaning to be(at a location) comes from Yoruba . From the Ashanti-Akan, comes the term Obeah which means witchcraft, from the Ashanti Twi word Ɔbayi which also means "witchcraft".

Words from Hindi
Hindi
include ganja (marijuana), and janga (crawdad ). Pickney or pickiney meaning child, taken from an earlier form (piccaninny ) was ultimately borrowed from the Portuguese pequenino (the diminutive of pequeno, small) or Spanish pequeño ('small').

There are many words referring to popular produce and food items—ackee , callaloo , guinep , bammy, roti , dal , kamranga. See Jamaican cuisine .

Jamaican Patois has its own rich variety of swearwords . One of the strongest is blood claat (along with related forms raas claat, bomba claat, claat and others—compare with bloody in Australian English and British English
British English
, which is also considered a profanity).

Homosexual men are referred to as /biips/ or batty boys .

EXAMPLE PHRASES

* /trii man did a swim/ - Three men swam. * /mi aalmuos lik 'im/ - I nearly hit him * /'im caan beet mi, 'im dʒos loki dat 'im won/ - He can't beat me, he simply got lucky and won. * /dem pikni de out a awdah/ - Those children are disobedient * /siin/ - Affirmative particle * /papiˈʃuo/ - Foolish exhibition, a person who makes a foolish exhibition of him or herself, or an exclamation of surprise. * /oman/ - Woman * /bwoi/ - Boy * /ɡyal/ - Girl * /mi nuh knoa/ - I don't know

LITERATURE AND FILM

A rich body of literature has developed in Jamaican Patois. Notable among early authors and works are Thomas MacDermot 's All Jamaica Library and Claude McKay 's Songs of Jamaica
Jamaica
(1909), and, more recently, dub poets Linton Kwesi Johnson and Mikey Smith . Subsequently, the life-work of Louise Bennett or Miss Lou (1919–2006) is particularly notable for her use of the rich colorful patois, despite being shunned by traditional literary groups. "The Jamaican Poetry League excluded her from its meetings, and editors failed to include her in anthologies." Nonetheless, she argued forcefully for the recognition of Jamaican as a full language, with the same pedigree as the dialect from which Standard English had sprung:

Dah language weh yuh proud a,

Weh yuh honour an respec –

Po Mas Charlie, yuh no know se Dat it spring from dialec! — Bans a Killin

After the 1960s, the status of Jamaican Patois rose as a number of respected linguistic studies were published, by Frederic Cassidy (1961, 1967), Bailey (1966) and others. Subsequently, it has gradually become mainstream to codemix or write complete pieces in Jamaican Patois; proponents include Kamau Brathwaite , who also analyses the position of Creole poetry in his History of the Voice: The Development of Nation Language
Language
in Anglophone Caribbean
Caribbean
Poetry (1984). However, Standard English remains the more prestigious literary medium in Jamaican literature . Canadian-Caribbean science-fiction novelist Nalo Hopkinson often writes in Jamaican or other Caribbean
Caribbean
Patois. Jean D\'Costa penned a series of popular children\'s novels , including Sprat Morrison (1972; 1990), Escape to Last Man Peak (1976), and Voice in the Wind (1978), which draw liberally from Jamaican Patois for dialogue, while presenting narrative prose in Standard English. Marlon James employs Patois in his novels including A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014). In his science fiction novel Kaya Abaniah and the Father of the Forest (2015), British-Trinidadian author Wayne Gerard Trotman presents dialogue in Trinidadian Creole , Jamaican Patois, and French while employing Standard English for narrative prose.

Jamaican Patois is also presented in some films and other media, for example, the character Tia Dalma 's speech from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man\'s Chest , and a few scenes in Meet Joe Black in which Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
's character converses with a Jamaican woman. In addition, early Jamaican films like The Harder They Come (1972), Rockers (1978), and many of the films produced by Palm Pictures in the mid-1990s (e.g. Dancehall Queen and Third World Cop ) have most of their dialogue in Jamaican Patois; some of these films have even been subtitled in English.

BIBLE

In December 2011, it was reported that the Bible was being translated into Jamaican Patois. The Gospel of St Luke has already appeared as: Jiizas: di Buk We Luuk Rait bout Im . While the Rev. Courtney Stewart, managing the translation as General Secretary of the West Indies Bible Society, believes this will help elevate the status of Jamaican Patois, others think that such a move would undermine efforts at promoting the use of English. The Patois New Testament was launched in Britain (where the Jamaican diaspora is significant) in October 2012 as "Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment ", and with print and audio versions in Jamaica
Jamaica
in December 2012. A comparison of the Lord\'s Prayer

...as it occurs in Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment: Wi Faada we iina evn, mek piipl av nof rispek fi yu an yu niem. Mek di taim kom wen yu ruul iina evri wie. Mek we yu waahn apm pan ort apm, jos laik ou a wa yu waahn fi apm iina evn apm Tide gi wi di fuud we wi niid. Paadn wi fi aal a di rang we wi du, siem laik ou wi paadn dem we du wi rang. An no mek wi fies notn we wi kaaz wi fi sin, bot protek wi fram di wikid wan. ...as it occurs in English Standard Version : Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

SEE ALSO

* Jamaica
Jamaica
portal * Languages portal

* African American Vernacular English * English-based creole languages * Jamaican English * Nation language * Rastafarian vocabulary

REFERENCES

* ^ Chang, Laurence. "Jumieka Langwij: Aatagrafi/Jamaican Language: Orthography". * ^ Jamaican Patois at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Jamaican". Glottolog 2.7 . Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ Cassidy FG: Multiple etymologies in Jamaican Creole. Am Speech 1966, 41:211-215 * ^ DeCamp (1961 :82) * ^ "patois". Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
(3rd ed.). Oxford University Press . September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) * ^ "patois". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 19 May 2013. * ^ Mark Sebba (1993), London
London
Jamaican, London: Longman. * ^ Lars Hinrichs (2006), Codeswitching on the Web: English and Jamaican Creole in E-Mail Communication. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. * ^ A B Devonish & Harry (2004 :456) * ^ Harry (2006 :127) * ^ Harry (2006 :126–127) * ^ Harry (2006 :126) * ^ also transcribed as and * ^ such as Cassidy & Le Page (1980 :xxxix) * ^ such as Harry (2006) * ^ Devonish & Harry (2004 :458) * ^ Cassidy (1971 :40) * ^ Harry (2006 :128–129) * ^ Harry (2006 :128) * ^ Rickford (1987 :?) * ^ Meade (2001 :19) * ^ Patrick (1999 :6) * ^ Irvine (2004 :42) * ^ DeCamp (1977 :29) * ^ Gibson (1988 :199) * ^ Mufwene (1984 :218) cited in Gibson (1988 :200) * ^ Winford (1985 :589) * ^ Bailey (1966 :32) * ^ Patrick (1995 :244) * ^ Lawton (1984 :126) translates this as "If the cow didn't know that his throat was capable of swallowing a pear seed, he wouldn't have swallowed it." * ^ Lawton (1984 :125) * ^ Irvine (2004 :43–44) * ^ "The Jamaican Language
Language
Unit, The University of West Indies at Mona". * ^ "Handout: Spelling Jamaican the Jamaican way". * ^ A B Williams, Joseph J. (1932). Voodoos and Obeahs:Phrases of West Indian Witchcraft. Library of Alexandria. p. 90. ISBN 1-4655-1695-6 . * ^ Williams, Joseph J. (1934). Psychic Phenomena of Jamaica. The Dial Press. p. 156. ISBN 1-4655-1450-3 . * ^ Cassidy, Frederic Gomes; Robert Brock Le Page (2002). A Dictionary of Jamaican English (2nd ed.). University of the West Indies Press. p. 168. ISBN 976-640-127-6 . Retrieved 2008-11-24. * ^ McWhorter, John H. (2000). The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Languages. University of California Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-520-21999-6 . Retrieved 2008-11-29. * ^ Patrick (1995 :234) * ^ Patrick (1995 :248) * ^ Hancock (1985 :237) * ^ Patrick (1995 :253) * ^ Hancock (1985 :190) * ^ Cassidy & Le Page (1980 :lxii) * ^ Devonish & Harry (2004 :467) * ^ Ramazani (2003 :15) * ^ Alison Donnell , Sarah Lawson Welsh (eds), The Routledge Reader in Caribbean
Caribbean
Literature, Routledge, 2003, Introduction, p. 9. * ^ Bridget Jones (1994). "Duppies and other Revenants: with particular reference to the use of the superna