Trinidad English Creole

Trinidad English Creole is used by approximately 1,000,000 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s ca. 1,300,000 inhabitants (2011) as well as by members of diaspora communities in Britain, Canada, and the United States. It is the de facto language of national identity in Trinidad and is used in functional distribution with the official language English. Trinidad English Creole serves as means of informal communication across all ethnic and socio-economic groups. Its functional domain restrictions have decreased in the last decades: in 1975, the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Education recognized Trinidad English Creole as a legitimate vehicle for oral and written expression in schools and educators were encouraged to use teaching strategies based on the differences between Trinidad English Creole and standard English. Trinidad English Creole use can also be found increasingly in the media (radio, television). Some formerly stigmatized features of Trinidad English Creole have now become accepted acrolectal use. There is no basilectal variety of Trinidad English Creole. The most conservative speakers can be found in the rural Indo-Trinidadian population. The mesolectal/acrolectal variety is the default lect documented in APiCS. Constructed examples were taken from the following sources: a) several UWI students (male and female) in their early twenties, b) a female middle-aged native speaker of Trinidad English Creole. Written examples were taken from either literary sources or from a Web-corpus of Trinidad English Creole.

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No. Feature Value % Details Source
No. Feature Value % Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Special segments

labialized voiceless velar plosive - Exists only as a minor allophone

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % Details Source