Jamaica is a beautiful island that happens to be the place most of my forebears are from. Since the age of 3, I have been exposed to the Jamaican languages due to being partially raised by my grandmother after the death of my mother in 1987.
- acrolect = upper-class dialect
- mesolect = middle-class dialect
- basilect = lower-class dialect.
2. Jamaican Creole (JCr) also known as “Patwa” (from the French word “Patois”) is the language most people speak and is the basilect. In this video, the woman being interviewed begins speaking in SJE but then moves further into JCr as she becomes more emotional and angry about having lost her home in a recent landslide.
SJE exists on a continuum with JCr. As I said before, the woman in this video starts more closely to SJE then gradually moves further and further into JCr as her emotions become stronger. The effect of emotion on the dialect you choose is a phenomenon that even British-raised Jamaicans, such as me, experience very often.
3. Jamaican Maroon Creole (JMCr) also known as Uol Taim Patwa (Old Time Patwa) or ‘Maroon Spirit Language’, is a kind of language used by the Maroon people who escaped slavery in the early days and lived and still live in the mountainous areas. It has largely been replacd by JCr as a daily language, but it is used as a ritual language to communicate with their ancestors who were born in Jamaica after slavery began.
4. Kromanti (Kr) is a language the Marrons use to ritually communicate with their ancestors who were born in Ghana before the trans-Atlantic slave trade began. Kromanti has minimal English influence and many speakers of Twi and Fante say that they understand a large percentage of it.
The Windward Maroons and those from the Cockpit Country resisted conquest in the First Maroon War (c. 1728 to 1740), which the government ended in 1739-1740 by making treaties to grant lands and to respect Maroon autonomy, in exchange for peace and aiding the colonial militia if needed against external enemies.
Tension between British colonial Governor Alexander Lindsay, 6th Earl of Balcarres, and the majority of the Leeward Maroons resulted in the Second Maroon War from 1795 to 1796. Although the governor promised leniency if the Maroons surrendered, he later backtracked and, supported by the Assembly, insisted on deporting 600 Maroons to British settlements in Nova Scotia. The deported Maroons were unhappy with conditions in Canada, and in 1800 majority left by succeeding in getting passage to Freetown, eight years after the Sierra Leone Company established it in West Africa (in present-day Sierra Leone) as a British colony.
Coromantee, Coromantins, Coromanti or Kormantine (derived from the name of the Ghanaian slave fort of Fort Kormantine in Koromanti, Ghana) was the English name for enslaved people from Akanethnicities from the Gold Coast in modern Ghana. The term was primarily used in the Caribbean and is now considered archaic.
“Drums of Defiance: Maroon Music from the Earliest Free Black Communities of Jamaica | Smithsonian Folkways”. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Retrieved 2017-04-21.