Language Use and West Indian Literary Criticism

Authored by: Hodge Merle

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  June  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415485777
eBook ISBN: 9780203830352
Adobe ISBN: 9781136821745


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In a number of postcolonial societies there have emerged parallel literary traditions: a literature that utilizes as its medium the European language in place, a legacy of colonization, and another written in indigenous languages that bear no relation to that language. By contrast, West Indian writers have been able to build a single literary tradition which straddles the indigenous language (English-lexicon Creole) and the official language (Standard English), because the two share largely the same vocabulary and are, for the most part, mutually intelligible.

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