Language attitudes, generations, and identity in coastal Belize

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Abstract

This paper reports on a study of language attitudes and generational differences with respect to two varieties of Kriol, the Afro-Belizean language of Belize. We investigate attitudes toward Belize City Kriol and Punta Gorda Kriol with a special focus on differences across generations of Belizeans. We employed a verbal-guise test with 131 participants, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data, and found that BC Kriol was in general rated more highly than PG Kriol among two generations of those surveyed. We attribute this among other things to the fact that BC Kriol is considered to be the more traditional variety, and that this tradition translates into status and prestige at a time when the newly independent country is faced with fashioning a postcolonial Belizean identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-312
Number of pages14
JournalAfrican and Black Diaspora
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Belizean Creole
  • generational
  • language attitudes
  • postcolonial

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