A Transnational “J’Ouvert” Kòmès

We can agitate to have Tobagonian English Creole and Trinidadian English Creole recognised as official languages of this country, accept standard writing systems for them which should be taught in schools and used in public signage. At that point, no one can proclaim that J’Ouvert has no meaning in a foreign language. Until then, we can retaliate in another way. We can accept the standard way of writing the word, its proper spelling of Jouvè in its language of origin, French Creole, for use in public. We can leave others with something that is clearly false, namely, the incorrect spelling and inappropriate etymology of the word, to have fun with.

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Portugal, Poteegal, Pooteegal, Puttigal, Patigal, Pretty Gyal?

So, instead of the “parts égales”/ “part égale” theory, [𝐩𝐚ʁ𝐳𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐥] / [𝐩𝐚ʁt𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐥 > [putigal] (involving 2 dubious etymologies and 4-5 phonological changes), the Portugal theory [𝐩uʁty𝐠𝐚𝐥] > [putigal] (Po(r)tugal > Pooteegal) (involving a known etymology and 2 regular phonological changes) is the simpler and easier explanation. The international, historical etymological and linguistic evidence is all in favour of Portugal (orange).

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Frutas Frescas e Mais

NAMES OF TROPICAL (AND OTHER) FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN ENGLISH AND PORTUGUESE NOMES DE FRUTAS TROPICAIS (E OUTRAS) E LEGUMES EM INGLÊS E EM PORTUGUÊS (BRAZILIAN) PORTUGUESE – (CARIBBEAN) ENGLISH(ES) (and some Dutch) Abacate – avocado, avocado pear, zaboca/zaboka Abacaxi – pineapple (ananás is preferred in Europe) Abiu – abiu, caimite (yellow variety) Abricó (abricó-do-Pará) […]

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Why Study Linguistics?

In previous posts, we’ve tried to explain what it is linguists do. Here are some reasons why you should study linguistics and do some of these things too: Get a job Let’s get straight down to business. With global economic uncertainty, and falling oil prices affecting the economy in Trinidad and Tobago, it’s only sensible […]

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The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago

Today’s blog post was written by Jo-Anne S. Ferreira, a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine and a member of SIL International (Americas Area).  Her academic interests are (socio)phonetics, contact linguistics, the history of Portuguese language and culture in the Caribbean, South American French Creole varieties, and Bible Translation.

In 1999, UNESCO proclaimed that International Mother Language Day (IMLD) would be celebrated on 21 February; the day was chosen to remember two students who died on 21 February 1952 in defence of Bangla, their mother tongue (spoken in what is now modern Bangladesh). Since 2000, countries around the world have observed IMLD to promote peace and multilingualism.

Quoting from the UNESCO website on IMLD 2016: “The theme of the 2016 International Mother Language Day is “Quality Education, Language(s) of Instruction and Learning Outcomes.” … UNESCO is highlighting the importance of mother…

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New Englishes?

New Englishes? Varieties of English in the West Indies have often been treated unfairly and inaccurately. In spite of an unbroken continuity of English in certain Caribbean territories (see Roberts 2008), Caribbean Englishes have usually been treated in any one of the following manners: They have been described as World or New or Emerging Englishes (often with […]

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