View Chapters

Book: Haitian Creole

Chapter: Variation in Haitian Creole

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.25795


Chapter 11 describes geographical and sociolinguistic variation. The chapter opens with a discussion of how geographical variation is studied. It then describes two major geographical variation studies conducted in Haïti. Special attention is given to the more thorough study, L’Atlas linguistique d’Haïti, that bears on 2,000 variable words and constructions. Various illustrative maps of particular variants are provided. The second part reviews the small body of research on sociolinguistic variation. Two particular studies are described: the first, a pilot study of a phonological change in progress, the extension of nasalization in the post-posed definite determiner; the second, an extensive study of the influence of the standard (Port-au-Prince) variety of HC on the most divergent geographical variety, that of northern Haiti: Capois. In addition, Chapter 11 compares the variety of standard HC spoken by monolingual speakers to kreyòl swa, the one heavily influenced by French that is spoken by bilingual members of higher social classes.

Chapter Contributors

  • Albert Valdman ( - book-auth-406) 'Indiana University'