Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa or Patwah) and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-based creole language with West African influences (a majority of loan words of Akan origin) spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora; it is spoken by the majority of Jamaicans as a native language. Patois developed in the 17th century, when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by the slaveholders: British English, Scots, and Hiberno-English. Jamaican Creole exhibits a gradation between more conservative creole forms that are not significantly mutually intelligible with English, and forms virtually identical to Standard English.

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  • Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa or Patwah) and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-based creole language with West African influences (a majority of loan words of Akan origin) spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora; it is spoken by the majority of Jamaicans as a native language. Patois developed in the 17th century, when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by the slaveholders: British English, Scots, and Hiberno-English. Jamaican Creole exhibits a gradation between more conservative creole forms that are not significantly mutually intelligible with English, and forms virtually identical to Standard English. Jamaicans refer to their language as patois. The term patois comes from Old French, patois "local or regional dialect" (earlier "rough, clumsy, or uncultivated speech"), possibly from the verb patoier, "to treat roughly", from patte "paw", from Old Low Franconian *patta "paw, sole of the foot" + -ois, a pejorative suffix. The term may have arisen from the notion of a clumsy or rough manner of speaking. Linguists refer to the language as a creole. Creoles are often stigmatized as the "lesser" language even though the majority of the population speaks Jamaican patois as their mother tongue. Jamaican pronunciation and vocabulary are significantly different from English, despite heavy use of English words or derivatives, but their writing system shows commonalities with the English alphabet. Significant Jamaican Patois-speaking communities exist among Jamaican expatriates in Miami, New York City, Toronto, Hartford, Washington, D.C., Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama (in the Caribbean coast), also London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Nottingham. A mutually intelligible variety is found in San Andrés y Providencia Islands, Colombia, brought to the island by descendants of Jamaican Maroons (escaped slaves) in the 18th century. Mesolectal forms are similar to very basilectal Belizean Kriol. Jamaican Patois exists mostly as a spoken language and is also heavily used for musical purposes, especially in reggae and dancehall as well as other genres. Although standard British English is used for most writing in Jamaica, Jamaican Patois has been gaining ground as a literary language for almost a hundred years. Claude McKay published his book of Jamaican poems Songs of Jamaica in 1912. Patois and English are frequently used for stylistic contrast (codeswitching) in new forms of internet writing. (en)
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  • Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa or Patwah) and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-based creole language with West African influences (a majority of loan words of Akan origin) spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora; it is spoken by the majority of Jamaicans as a native language. Patois developed in the 17th century, when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by the slaveholders: British English, Scots, and Hiberno-English. Jamaican Creole exhibits a gradation between more conservative creole forms that are not significantly mutually intelligible with English, and forms virtually identical to Standard English. (en)
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  • Jamaican Patois (en)
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  • Jamaican Patois (en)
  • Patwa, Jumiekan, Jamiekan (en)
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