Jamaican Creole EnglishPrint
2,670,000 in Jamaica (2001). Population total all countries: 3,205,000.
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).
3 (Wider communication). De facto language of national identity.
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.
Vigorous. Dominant language and gaining in prestige. Post-Creole continuum from distinct Creole to provincial English of town dwellers. Positive attitudes.Most consider that they speak standard English [eng].
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).