[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#276: The influence of English on Kreyol : Vedrine comments

From: Emmanuel W. Vedrine <evedrine@hotmail.com>

"...kreyol has also taken words from english, mainly during the 1915-1934 
period. Dayva from diver; kosmobe (someone cumbersome and stupid) from the 
crossmember under a car, a part that 'suffers' from potholes,etc; or chan 
(spelling) for shoeshine boy. I'll will not get into marine terms such as a 
tout boulinn (going fast) taken from the french 'bouline'." 

_ In fact, a great deal of English words entered the Kreyol language during 
this period of occupation. Now, in doing research it's always good to find 
other reliable sources (re: contact between speakers of English and Kreyol 
in Haiti from different periods. A good example is newspapers published in 
Haiti during this period (1915-34), before it also how much English are used 
and at what level. Pradel Pompilus, a very respected Haitian linguist and 
literary critic did a thorough investigation in his "these de doctorat" at 
Sorbonne in the early '60's and his research is mostly based on newspapers 
for his analysis of "La langue francaise en Haiti" [where he also points out 
the English and the Kreyol influence]. Though not a single Haitian speaks 
French as "native language" (to me), but I think Pompilus (in his mind) was 
probably thinking of the use of THE USE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGUAGE IN HAITI 
(which would not categorically implies "native speakers of French" since 
Haitians don't fit into this category, but rather in a diglossic situation 
where the notions of "bilingualism", "code swithching" and "bi-culturalism" 
should not be left out). Pompilus also points out that the English influence 
on Kreyol at a technical/scientific level (where we buy tools, machines, 
cars, auto parts from the U.S). For instance if one wants to do some field 
works (for test) just go to some Haitian mechanics (with no knowledge of 
English) and ask them to name the auto parts and talk to some vendors in 
"Mache Anba" (downtown area of Port-au-Prince) selling goods from the U.S.


Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn.com