October 06, 2006

R-fulness on the march

In response to my post on non-portable water, John Wells sent me this version of a sneaky little creeping /r/ that he discovered on the quayside at St. Johns, Antigua, in the Leeward Islands. The native language there is English or English Creole. Imagine getting off a cruise ship to have a go at the local activities, then running into this:

Okay, in Antiguan creole, "pork" and "poke" are homophones, so maybe we should cut the casino some slack here.

And if you don't cotton to slots or roulette, you might try "crap action," which as Wells points out, elicits snickers from British tourists, as it would from Americans as well. But things are not what we think. Wells points out that the Antiguans, like other Creole speakers, are a bit uncertain about distinctions between singular and plural.

Posted by Roger Shuy at October 6, 2006 11:17 AM