How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
In this volume the author describes and systematically accounts for language variation in a Creole-speaking community and assesses the implications the study has on generally accepted notions of the nature of language. Based on an extensive study of Guyana, South America, the volume analyses the bewildering diversity found in the syntax and underlying semantics of tense and aspect of the language of that country and shows that data which at first sight appear merely chaotic in fact represent different developmental stages of the language existing side by side in the contemporary community. The volume also offers strong support for theories of Creole origins of ‘Black English’ in the United States. It should be of interest not only to those linguists involved in Creole and pidgin studies but also to anyone concerned with general linguistic theory.