Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Language change in a post-creole contact setting: non-standard ain’t negation in Suffolk

Michelle Braña-Straw


This paper describes preliminary research on the role ain’t for two groups of British speakers living  in Suffolk: Anglos and Barbadians. The issues addressed are of relevance to sociolinguists and creolists. In most Anglophone countries, including Britain, the functions of ain’t are remarkably similar - occurring with present tense verbs be and have only. An nglophone pattern, based on previously reported tendencies and hierarchies is proposed and is used as the basis for comparison. Bajan is one of the less often studied creoles and absent from work discussing their typological status in relation to L1s. Preliminary results provide some evidence of creole forms among first generation Bajans. Ethnically - aligned contrasts are also found for each generation as Bajans adopt the Anglophone pattern. The paper concludes that any interpretation of social and linguistic factors needs to be supplemented by further interactional analysis to account for the considerable inter-individual variation.

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