Jamaica

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English
[eng] Status: 1 (National). De facto national language. Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English. Comments: Non-indigenous. When Creole languages exist alongside their lexifier language, a continuum forms of variations between the Creole and the lexifier language. It is therefore difficult to substantiate the exact number of Creole speakers and speakers of the lexifier language.

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Jamaican Country Sign Language
[jcs] Primarily in Saint Elizabeth Parish, adult speakers. 40 (L. Parks). No monolinguals (2016 B. Gayle). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Country Sign, Konchri Sain. Classification: 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.

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Jamaican Creole English
[jam] 2,670,000 in Jamaica (2001). Total users in all countries: 3,035,000. Status: 5 (Developing). De facto language of national identity. Alternate Names: Bongo Talk, Jamiekan, Limon Creole English, Patois, Patwa, Quashie Talk, Western Caribbean Creole. Dialects: None known. The basilect and standard English mutually inherently unintelligible (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977, LePage 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).

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Jamaican Sign Language
[jls] Scattered. 7,500 (2011 E. Parks). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: JSL. Dialects: Originated from American Sign Language [ase] introduced by American missionaries (particularly Southern Baptist and Mennonite), and could be considered a dialect of ASL. However, it is gradually diverging from ASL, with significant lexical and syntactic differences (Cumberbatch 2012). Classification: Sign language. Comments: Mostly concentrated in Kingston, but also found in other parishes such as Montego Bay, St. Anns, and Mandeville (2016 B. Gayle).

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