‘Genuine’ forms of creolese

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter in Stabroek News dated April 30th, 2018, `Creolese helps students in their learning’. I have also been following the other discussions around creolese in your newspaper.

On a recent trip to Suriname, I spent some time with relatives in Nickerie. I noted that the Guyanese in Suriname spoke a more “authentic” form of creolese than the ones across the river in Berbice. The creolese in Berbice seems to be mixed with local English and a lot of Jamaican references due to the heavy consumption of dancehall music. I also noted this “genuine” creolese (or at least one strain of it) among older Indian Guyanese in Queens, New York. Their absence from Guyana and the lack of influence of the changes in local language structure have allowed them to maintain a version of creolese, which in my opinion is more “pure”.

It would be ironic if the more “genuine” forms of creolese are actually with Guyanese living outside of Guyana and functioning in environments where they also use Standard English and in the case of Suriname Dutch.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address supplied)

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