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ISCHRI & hEVALUUSHAN A JUMIEKAN
History & Evolution of Jamaican

hAborijinal dedlef
Di fos inabitant a di hailant wi nuo bout wena di Taino dem uu taak Arawak langwij. Dehn get waip out likl afta di Paniad dem kech a di hailant ina dehn saach fi Kiatie, di lan a guol a di hIis. So dehn no de bout lang anof fi hinfluens di divelopment a Jumiekan. Di fyuu wod we dehn dedlef gi wi a laik orikien, kasaava, Liganii, amok, kalalu ahn guaava.

hAibiirian Toch
Di Panish dem dehnself nehn lef moch muo dan fyuu wod laik pasiero frahn pasajero ahn eskobiich frahn escabechar. Plies-niem laik Sivil, hUocho Rayas, Raya Kuoba, Raya Byuuno ahn Puoto Siiko maak dehn paas. Aalduo di Puotigiis neba ruul Jumieka, dehn wehn aal bout Afrika ahn di Kiaribiyan chruu di Migl Pachiz a chried sliev. Fi dem wod pequeno a di harijin fi pikanini ahn aal voerjan a i we fain ina Kriol ahn pijin langwijdem. Wi get gizaada frahn guisado ahn palaava frahn palavra. Buot Panish ahn Puotigiis Juu dem flai kom a Jumieka fi hexkiep di hIngkwizishan ahn som kom frahn Suurinam ahn hada hels paat a di Kiaribiyan tu. Dehn gi wi niem laka Lindo, Liivi, Dacasta, Gyaasha ahn Agilar.

Di British Tamp
Chuu dehn nehna du so wel fi kanchruol di Nyuu Wol gens di Panishdem, sohn hInglish admiral disaid se dem a go tekwe Jumieka fi hAliva Kramwel no tuu bex wid dem. Di Panishdem nehn hexpek fi get atak so dehn nehn pripier non taal so nof a dem ron we go a Kyuuba. Som a dehn sliev tek di hapachuuniti fi hexkiep ina di ildem ahn jain di Maruundem. Frahn da taim ya hIngglish tek ruut, tiich bai di suoja ahn sieladem, ahn lieta bai di sekladem wid dehn uovasia, buk-kipa, hindencha saabant ahn mishineridem. Som a demaya taak difrahn riijanal British dayalek ou koms wi get di Skatish ahn hAirish influens.

Aboriginal legacy
The first inhabitants of the island we know about were the Tainos who spoke the Arawak language. They were exterminated shortly after the Spaniards arrived on the island in their search for Cathay, the land of gold in the East. So they were not around long enough to influence the development of Jamaican. The few words they have left us include hurricane, cassava, Liguanea, hammock, callaloo and guava.

Iberian Touch
The Spanish themselves did not bequeath much more than a few words like pasiero from pasajero and eskobiich from escabechar. Place-names like Seville, Ocho Rios, Rio Cobre, Rio Bueno and Puerto Seco mark their path. Although the Portuguese never ruled Jamaica, they were all about Africa and the Caribbean through the Middle Passage trading slaves. Their word pequeno is the origin of pikanini and all versions of it found in Creole and pidgin languages. We got gizaada from guisado and palaava from palavra. Both Spanish and Portuguese Jews fled to Jamaica to escape the Inquisition and some came from Suriname as well. They gave us names like Lindo, Levy, Dacosta, Garcia and Aguilar.

The British Stamp
Since they were not very successful in wresting control of the New World from the Spanish, some English admirals decided to seize Jamaica to palliate Oliver Cromwell. The Spanish were not expecting an attack so were not prepared, forcing many of them to seek refuge in Cuba. Some of their slaves took the opportunity to escape into the hills to join the Maroons. From this time on English would take root taught by the soldiers and sailors, and later by the settlers with their overseers, book-keepers, indentured servants and missionaries. Some of these spoke different regional British dialects which is how we got the Scottish and Irish influences.

Piis a ischri
wa hexplien ou sumoch difrahn komiuniti chuuhout do wol kom fi chat Jumiekan.
A snippet of history that explains how so many communities throughout the world came to speak Jamaican.

"The sugar plantations of Cuba, the banana plantations of Central America, the railway systems of Panama, Central America, and even of Brazil and Mexico, by recruiting labour from the British West Indies, have ensured that in some of these areas there remain nuclei of the descendants of Jamaicans and other West Indians, who yet retain some of the patterns of culture that they took with them early in the twentieth century."
- Patrick Bryan
in "Story of the song: Lyrics, literature trace emigration of Jamaicans," Jamaica Gleaner, 2011 May 3.

British Vieriant
British Variant
Yuusij
Usage
Jumiekan
Jamaican
17t Sentri hIngglish
17th Century English
Wod nou haakiek
Words now archaic
moonshine
peradventure
tinnen
muunshain
paravencha
tinin
17t-18t Senchri Landan ahn Kuot Ingglish
17th-18th Century London and Court English
Riplies "i" soun bai "e"
Replace "i" sound with "e"
if > ef
till > tell
since > sence
ef
tel
sens
Airish Inglish
Irish English
Braad "a" soun
Broad "a" sound
want
call
learn
waant
kaal
laan
17t Senchri hIngglish
17th Century English
hExtra "y" vowil had afta "c/k" ahn "g"
Extra "y" vowel added after "c/k" and "g"
can > cyan
car > cyar
care > cyare
girl > gyirl
garden > gyarden
garbage > gyarbage
kiahn
kyaar
kier
gial
gyaadn
gyaabij
Airish Ingglish
Irish English
at all, at all
to di hexchriim, yuuz fi hemfasis
in the extreme, used for emphasis
mi no laik im at aal, at aal
18t Senchri Landan Ingglish
18th Century London English
hInishal "h" soun jrap, had to wod taat wid vowil
Initial "h" sound dropped, added to words beginning with vowels
him > 'im
horse > 'orse
house > 'ouse
all > hall
arm > harm
even > heven
im
aas
ous
aal
haam
hiivn

Afrikan Ruut
Wails di British put dehn hanmistiekobl tamp pahn di langwij wid a muosli hIngglish-bies lexikan, enibadi we hie Jumiekan a taak wi shuo se a som Afrikan langwij. No onggl di soun bot som a di vokiabileri, sintax ahn kanschrokshan kiahn chries rait bak a Wes Afrika tu di dairek chraib we ikom fram.

African Roots
While the British put their unmistakable stamp on the language with a mostly English-based lexicon, anyone who hears Jamaican being spoken will be sure that it is some African language. Not only the sound but also some of the vocabulary, syntax and construction can be traced right back to specific West African linguistic groups.

Wes Afrikan Influens
West African Influence
Yuusij
Usage
Jumiekan
Jamaican
Madifikieshan a kansonant klosta
Wes Afrikan langwij jinarali no ab tuu kansonant kom tigeda bot haltiniet dem wid vowil:
CVC VCV CVCV VCVC
Modification of consonant clusters
West African languages generally do not have two consonants together but alternate them with vowels

kansonant jrap:
consonant dropped:
sen(d), las(t),
(S)panish, (s)queeze,
(s)cratch, (s)tan(d)

vowil had:
vowel added:
s(u)mall, s(i)nake,
s(u)poon, S(i)mith,
s(u)mile

sen, laas,
Panish, kwiiz,
krach, tan

sumaal, siniek, supuun, Simit, sumail

Pluuralaizieshan: noun + 3d persn pluural pruonoun
Pluralization: noun + 3rd person plural pronoun
Ewe, ame wo
man + they > men
Twi, agya nom
father + they > fathers
Yoruba, awon omonde
they + child > children
man dem
faada dem
pitni dem
Siirial voerb schrokcha
Serial verb structure
verb + verb (+ verb)
Ewe, wotsone yia
carry him + go
kyaa im go
hada hegzampl/Other examples:
bring kom
ron go tel
kyaa go gi
Tapikalaizieshan a voerb
Topicalization of verb
a/iz + verb ... + verb
Twi, hwe na Kwasi hwe ase
fall is Kwasi fall down
Yoruba, gbigbe ni won gbe e lo
take is they took it go
a faal Kwasi faal dong

a tek dehn tek i gaan
Kompoun woerd in kaman
Compound words in common
word + word > new word
Mandinka, nye ji
eye + water > tears
Ada kompoun/Other compounds:
mouth + water > saliva
big + eye > covetous
sweet + mouth > flatterer
door + mouth > entrance
yai waata
mout waata
yai big
greedy
red yai covetous
swiit mout
duo mout
Otarans maaka
fala bak a voerb we hexpres mental pruoses
Utterance marker
immediately following verbs expressing mental processes

verb + say
Yoruba,
mo mo pe o daa
I know say it good

mo ro pe o daa
I think say it good
mi nuo se i gud
mi tingk se i gud

Ada hegzampl/Other examples:
biliib se believe
fiil se feel
ie se hear
kansida se consider
memba se remember
shuor se be sure
Ruut-wod
Root word
hArijin
Origin
Jumiekan
Jamaican
Definishan
Definition
chuk Fula, to prick or stick juk to prick or stick, have intercourse
epim Twi, vagina pim/pum vagina
ras Fula, buttocks raas buttocks, swear word
kasakasa Twi, argument kaskas argument, contention
kombula Kikongo, group or assembly kombolo associate
eniam Twi, to eat niam to eat
foo-foo Twi, mashed yam fufu mashed yam
janga Bakweri, crayfish janga crayfish

Riflek bak
Siek a Yuuropiyan kalanaizieshan ina hAfrika ahn di Kiaribiyan, ebriwe dehn go, dehn langwij mixop wid di luokal piipl dem taakin fi gi haadaz ahn lou chried fi gwaan. Out a dis, wahn huola faambli a langwij divelop dehn kaal Pijin ar Kriol. Nof a dem ab nof tings in kaman far dem shier simila linggwistik arijin. Pan tap a dat, Jumieka Kriol, ton roun influens ada plies az Jumiekan mishineri ahn woerkadem go aal bout. Siek a dat, som a di langwij dem we dehn taak a Kamaruun ahn Siera Lewon a siem Jumieka taakin. Den Jumiekan dem maigriet go luk wok aal a Panama, Andyuuras ahn Kyuuba, ahn lieta aan tu Landan, Bruklin ahn Taranto, a kyaa dehn langwij wid dem. Aal nou, di Jumiekan maigrant jinarieshan a Limon, Kasta Riika, taak wa dehn kaal Mekatelyu. Yu siit duo.

Reflecting back
Because of European colonization in Africa and the Caribbean, everywhere they went, their language blended with the local tongue for giving orders and allowing trade to be conducted. Out of this, an entire family of languages developed known as Pidgin or Creole. They have many things in common for they share similar linguistic origins. On top of that, Jamaican Creole, in turn influenced other places as Jamaican missionaries and workers spread abroad. Because of that, some of the language heard in Cameroon and Sierra Leone are identical to Jamaica talk. As Jamaicans migrated to seek work in Panama, Honduras and Cuba, and later to London, Brooklyn and Toronto, they took their language with them. Even now, the descendants of Jamaican migrants to Limon, Costa Rica speak what they call Mekatelyu. There you have it.

Jumiekan
Jamaican
Afrikan Kriol
African Creole
Definishan
Definition
get beli Kamaruun, get bele to become pregnant
wash beli Kamaruun, was bele last child
bobi Kamaruun, bobi breast
bakra Kamaruun, bakra white man
kombolo Kamaruun, kombi close friend
paadi Siera Lewon, padi friend
sotel Siera Lewon, sotei until
tingk se Siera Lewon, tingk see think that
jres dong Kamaruun, jres las smol shift, move up/down a bit

Tide ahn tumaara
Chruu di hintanashinal papiulariti a Jumiekan myuuzik ahn Jumieka ai-op pruofail fii saiz, inchres ina Jumiekan langwij neba nof so yet. Frahn taim wen piipl yuus fi luk dong pahn bad-piikin patwa ahn kriol spiika, nof smadi, hespeshal di yuut dem we baan a hIngglant ahn Moerka wid Jumiekan pierans ar grampierans, a kilop dehnself now fi taaki. Aal uu no riili ab no Jumiekan ruut a chrai kechi tu. Wi uop da sait wi elp dem likl bit.

Today and tomorrow
Through the international popularity of Jamaican music and Jamaica's inordinately high profile for its size, interest in the Jamaican language has never been as great. From the time when bad-talking patois and creole speakers were looked down on, many, especially youngsters born in England or America with Jamaican antecedents, are now falling over themselves to speak it. Even those without Jamaican connections are trying to master it. We hope this site will help a bit.

BIBILIAGRAFI
Bibliography
Frederic G Cassidy, Jamaica Talk: Three Hundred Years of the English Language in Jamaica, Macmillan Education, 1982
Frederic G Cassidy & Robert LePage, Dictionary of Jamaican English, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980
Pauline Christie, Language in Jamaica, Kingston: Arawak Publications, 2003
Barbara A Lalla & Jean D'Costa, Language in Exile: Three Hundred Years of Jamaican Creole, University of Alabama Press, 1990
Daniel Jettka, The Language Situation of Jamaica, paper
Peter A Roberts, West Indians & Their Language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988
Loreto Todd, Modern Englishes: Pidgins & Creoles Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984

 

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