[eng] Status: 1 (National). De facto national language. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English Comments: When Creole languages exist alongside their lexifier language, as in Jamaica, a continuum forms of variations between the Creole and the lexifier language. In such situations, a continuum forms of variations between the Creole and the acrolect. It is therefore difficult to substantiate the number of Creole speakers and English speakers.
Jamaican Country Sign Language
[jcs] Primarily in Saint Elizabeth parish. 40 (L. Parks). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Country Sign, Konchri Sain Classification: Deaf sign language Comments: Maranatha School for the Deaf in Ridge (St. Elizabeth parish) uses Jamaican Sign Language [jls] in the classroom. Deaf people in the St. Elizabeth Parish often move to the larger cities for easier access to employment. Country Sign is not being used in the schools and its number of users is gradually declining.
Jamaican Creole English
[jam] Also in Canada (Southwestern Caribbean Creole English), Costa Rica (Limón Creole English), Dominican Republic (Southwestern Caribbean Creole English), Panama (Panamanian Creole English), United Kingdom (Southwestern Caribbean Creole English), United States (Southwestern Caribbean Creole English). 2,670,000 in Jamaica (2001). Population total all countries: 3,205,000. Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity. Alternate Names: Bongo Talk, Limon Creole English, Patois, Patwa, Quashie Talk Dialects: The basilect and standard English mutually inherently unintelligible (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977, Le Page 1960, Adler 1977). May be partly intelligible to speakers of Cameroon Pidgin [wes] and Krio [kri] of Sierra Leone, spoken by descendants of Jamaicans repatriated between 1787 and 1860. Inherently intelligible to creole speakers in Panama and Costa Rica. Reportedly very similar to Belize Creole [bzj], similar to Grenada, Saint Vincent, different from Tobago, very different from Guyana, Barbados, Leeward and Windward islands. Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Western Comments: There is a continuum of variation from basilectal Creole to acrolectal English of the educated. Linguistic influences from Akan [aka] languages in Ghana and Bantu languages (Hancock 1988).