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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Kouwenberg, Silvia
Author Role
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Paper/Section Title
Africans in early English Jamaica.
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Proceedings Title
Freedom: Retrospective and Prospective: Mona Academic Conference
Date of Meeting
August 31- September 2
Place of Meeting
UWI (Mona, Jamaica)
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Publisher Name
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Date of Publication
2007
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Volume ID
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Location in Work
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Extent of Work
13 p.
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Abstract
Students of Jamaican language, culture and history have long held that speakers of Akan (more popularly known as either Twi, Kromanti, or Ashante) were a dominant presence in early English Jamaica, and had a foundational impact on Jamaica 's language and culture. However, a study of the provenance of slaves in 17th-century English Jamaica, does not support this view. Nor is it fully supported by a study of those vocabulary items in Jamaican Creole which derive from African sources, as such a study turns up as many items from African sources other than Akan. Akan influence, it appears, postdates the formative period of Jamaican language and culture. So which African languages and cultures are at the basis of Jamaica 's language and culture? Who were the agents in the process of creolization? This paper aims to sketch the ethnolinguistic origins of the slave population in early English Jamaica (1655-1700), and thus provide a starting point from which it may be possible to answer these questions. In order to do so, I consider a combination of sources, including not only the documented direct trade (both licit and illicit), but also intra-Caribbean migration, intra-Caribbean (illicit) trade, and raids on non-English possessions.....
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