Info on the PhD dissertation by Edward Mitchell
St. Lucian Kwéyòl in St. Croix: A study of language choice and attitudes
From: Edward Mitchell
Institution: University of Puerto Rico
Program: Department of English
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009
Author: Edward S. Mitchell
Dissertation Title: St. Lucian Kwéyòl in St. Croix: A study of language choice and attitudes
Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Saint Lucian Creole French (acf)
Nicholas G. Faraclas
This socio- and ethnolinguistic research project examines language choice,
language attitudes, ethnolinguistic identity, and bilingualism among
diaspora speakers of Saint Lucian French-lexifier Creole (Kwéyòl) on the
Caribbean island Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
In Chapter 2, I describe in detail the socio-economic, political,
historical, demographic, and geographic conditions that constituted the
matrix of creolization from which St. Lucian Kwéyòl developed and evolved.
I then apply the creolization models of Chaudenson (2001), Mufwene (2001),
Dalphinis (1985), Alleyne (1996), and Faraclas et al. (2007) to the islands
of St. Lucia and Barbados and comment on the resulting similarities and
differences in linguistic output.
In Chapter 3, I lay out the theoretical framework for my sociolinguistic
study on Kwéyòl in St. Croix, beginning with definitions of all terms used
in my research questions, citing sources for both the theoretical framework
and methodology of my study. Then, I review the work of twelve scholars who
have published studies on Saint Lucian Kwéyòl, along with one relevant
study on Haitian Kreyòl.
This study has shown that even though Kwéyòl is central to the identity of
St. Lucians in St. Croix, fewer parents are speaking the language to their
children, many of whom, as a consequence, are no longer learning to speak
the language. The results of this research will contribute to the
understanding of the factors which play a role in the maintenance of the
language and ethnolinguistic identity of a 'minority' group whose language
and culture are under threat due to globalization and the concomitant
penetration of U.S. English.