Jamaican Creole is one of the major Atlantic English-lexifier creoles spoken in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, this creole is popularly labelled as ‘Patwa’ (Devonish & Harry 2004: 441). There is a widely-held view in Jamaica that a post-creole continuum exists. The continuum is between Jamaican English and Jamaican Creole (Meade 2001: 19). Many scholars holding this view find it necessary to distinguish among acrolectal, mesolectal and basilectal varieties (Irvine 1994, Beckford-Wassink 1999, Patrick 1999, Meade 2001, among others). Major phonological differences are found between the two extremes. However, a discussion of the phonological differences in the continuum and problems with the theoretical notion of a ‘post-creole continuum’ is beyond the scope of this paper. The aim of this paper is to provide an adequate description of some salient aspects of the synchronic phonetics and phonology of Jamaican Creole based on the speech forms of two native Jamaican Creole speakers, Stacy-Ann Watt, a post-graduate female student at the University of West Indies, Mona, and Racquel Sims, 22 year old female from the parish of St Catherine. Both come from the Eastern parishes of the island.
Jamacan-creole sound files