Liberian English


Liberian English

Liberian English is a term used to refer to the varieties of English spoken in the African country of Liberia. There are four such varieties:
* Standard Liberian English or Liberian Settler English;
* Kru Pidgin English;
* Vernacular Liberian English. Normally, Liberians do not use these terms and instead refer to all such varieties simply as 'English.' Additionally, the term 'Liberian English' is sometimes used for all varieties except the standard.

tandard Liberian English

Standard Liberian English is the language of those people whose African American ancestors immigrated to Liberia in the nineteenth century. This variety is a transplanted variety of African American Vernacular English. It is most distinctive in isolated settlements such as Louisiana, Lexington, and Bluntsville, small communities upriver from Greenville in Sinoe County. According to 1993 statistics, approximately 69,000 people, or 2.5% of the population, spoke Standard Liberian English as a first language. The vowel system is more elaborate than in other West African variants; Standard Liberian English distinguishes IPA| [i] from IPA| [ɪ] , and IPA| [u] from IPA| [ʊ] , and uses the diphthongs IPA| [aɪ] , IPA| [aʊ] , and IPA| [əɪ] . Vowels can be nasalised. The final vowel of "happy" is IPA| [ɛ] . It favours open syllables, usually omitting IPA| [t] , IPA| [d] , or a fricative. The interdental fricatives IPA| [θ, ð] appear as IPA| [t, d] initially, and as IPA| [f, v] finally. The glottal fricative IPA| [h] is preserved as is the labiovelar fricative IPA| [ʍ] . Affricates have lost their stop component, thus IPA| [ʧ] > IPA| [ʃ] . Between vowels, IPA| [t] may be flapped (>IPA| [ɾ] ) as in North American English. Liquids are lost at the end of words or before consonants, making Standard Liberian English a non-rhotic dialect. [Brinton, Lauren and Leslie Arnovick. "The English Language: A Linguistic History". Oxford University Press: Canada, 2006]

Kru Pidgin English

Kru Pidgin English is a moribund variety that was spoken historically by 'Krumen'. These were individuals, most often from the Klao and Grebo ethnic groups, who worked as sailors on ships along the West African coast and also as migrant workers and domestics in such British colonies as the Gold Coast (Ghana) and Nigeria. The 'Krumen' tradition dates back to the end of the eighteenth century. With the end of the British colonial presence in West Africa in the mid-twentieth century, however, the tradition came to an end, and with it the ongoing use of Kru Pidgin English.Fact|date=April 2008

Vernacular Liberian English

Vernacular Liberian English, the most common variety, is the Liberian version of West African Pidgin English though it has been significantly influenced by Liberian Settler English. Its phonology owes much to Liberia's Niger-Congo languages. Vernacular Liberian English has been analyzed having a post-creole speech continuum. As such, rather than being a pidgin wholly distinct from English, it is a range of varieties that extend from the highly pidginized to one that shows many similarities to English as spoken elsewhere in West Africa.Fact|date=April 2008

References

Bibliography

*Harvard reference
last=Singler
first=John Victor
editor-last=Smitherman
editor-first=Geneva
chapter= [http://books.google.com/books?id=mYBZR4eALwgC&pg=PA129&dq=liberian+settler+english&sig=TWOSDTCOPHfhk9QqCckQCqFvVRs Copula Variation in Liberian Settler English and American Black English]
title=Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America
year=1986
publisher=Wayne State University Press
ISBN=0814318053
pages=129-164

*Harvard reference
last=Singler
first=John Victor
editor-last=McWhorter
editor-first=John
chapter= [http://books.google.com/books?id=jSByTfudlIcC&pg=PA335&dq=liberian+settler+english&sig=UYOMxCLc0m4RTaBu1IwK3WXRkxU#PPA335,M1 Optimality Theory, the Minimal-Word Constraint, and the Historical Sequencing of Substrate Influence in Pidgin/Creole Genesis]
title=Language Change and Language Contact in Pidgins and Creoles
year=2000
publisher=John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN=9027252432
pages=335-354


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