Trinidad and Tobago and the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights

Trinidad and Tobago and the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights In 2013, two UWI, St Augustine linguists island-hopped across to the island of O‘ahu in Hawai‘i for the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC). The theme was “Sharing Worlds of Knowledge.” We shared our knowledge on “The Diversity of Endangered Languages: Documenting three endangered languages […]

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Portuguese in Trinidad

© Portuguese in Trinidad Is one or more of your family names Abreu, Affonso, d’Andrade, Cabral, Camacho, Carvalho, Coelho, Cunha, Farinha, Fernandes, de Freitas, Garanito, Gomes, Jardim, Lourenço, Luz, Mendes, Mendonça, Netto, Nunes, Pereira, Perneta, Pestana, Pinto, Quintal, Rezende, Rodrigues, Sabino, dos Santos, de Silva, de Souza, Teixeira, Vieira or Xavier, to name just some of the […]

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Trinidad’s Anglicisation Policy

Trinidad’s Anglicisation Policy or One Big Reason Why Trinidad is No Longer Multilingual Walking my dog in the Botanical Gardens in Port-of-Spain one day, I stopped at the little cemetery and noticed the tombstone above. I just had to take a photo of the grave of the once powerful Charles William Warner, Companion, Order of the […]

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Where Patois Words Come From

Where Patois Words Come From If Patois is another name for French-lexicon Creole, then French gave Patois all its vocabulary (lexicon), right? Well, let’s do some digging and find out. First, let’s look at French. French, a Romance or Italic language, has a vocabulary mostly derived from Latin (from 2 BC). French has also been […]

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Arabic in Trinidad and Tobago

Arabic in Trinidad and Tobago by Ramón Mansoor The major waves of immigrants from Syria and Lebanon to the island of Trinidad took place in the 1930s. Although Arabic first appeared in Trinidad in the 19th century, with Islamicized West African Savannah peoples, Arabic as a home and vernacular language probably first came with the […]

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Patois in Calypso

Patois in Calypso The Mighty Sparrow’s Sa Sa Yea (Sa Sa Yé, 1969 Road March), possibly Trinidad’s most famous Patois calypso: Chorus Sa sa yé, sa sa yé, Bondjé, Misyé, ou ka tjwé mwen! Lévé, lévé, lévé, lévé – Ouvè lapòt-la, gason, mon ka alé; Sa sa yé, sa sa yé, Bondjé, Sparrow, ou ka tjwé […]

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