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Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture

[Journal of English and American Studies]

Ed. by Butter, Michael / Eckstein, Lars / Frenk, Joachim / Georgi-Findlay, Brigitte / Herbst, Thomas / Korte, Barbara / Leypoldt, Günter / Reinfandt, Christoph / Stefanowitsch, Anatol

4 Issues per year

Cite Score 2016: 0.09

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.128
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.115

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Volume 63, Issue 2 (Jun 2015)


Linguistic Decolonization in Jamaican Radio

Michael Westphal
Published Online: 2015-06-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2015-0017


This article illustrates the value redistributions of Jamaican Creole (JC) and Standard English (StE) in the public sphere of radio by investigating changes in the discursive practices of language use, norms and other framework conditions of radio production, as well as listeners’ perception of linguistic variation on air. JC was marginalized and stigmatized in pre- and early post-independence Jamaican radio but has subsequently acquired an important role, mainly in dialogic and informal contexts. Despite its increased value, JC has not substantially challenged the prestige position of StE, which has remained the unmarked choice for formal broadcasting. However, there has been a localization of StE on the air away from exonormative standards and towards Jamaican English (JE) while British and American influences remain in place. In this linguistic decolonization process both JC and JE have acquired new values, but remnants of an unequal power distribution linger on.

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About the article

Corresponding author: Michael Westphal, English Department, University of Münster, Johannisstr. 12-20, 48143 Münster, Germany, e-mail:

Published Online: 2015-06-03

Published in Print: 2015-06-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, ISSN (Online) 2196-4726, ISSN (Print) 0044-2305, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2015-0017.

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