Style-shifting in Trinidadian English Speakers When Talking Among Themselves and with Jamaican English Speakers in NY

Nariba Cintron, Isabelle Barriere

Though a considerable number of Caribbean immigrants reside in New York City (US Census Bureau, 2022), there is not a lot of substantial research on Caribbean languages, specifically used in the Trinidadian-Jamaican communities. Many other researchers have focused on grammatical distinctions, acceptability, and modal verb usage (Deuber, D., 2017, 2009) (Wilson, G., 2020) (Mühleisen, S., 2001). This study aims to examine analysis via contact variations with Trinidadians speaking to Jamaicans formally and informally and analyze possible social factors to participants regarding hypotheses and concluding outcomes. The centralized focus seeks to answer what variations appear in speech utterances, speed, length, and fluency between Trinidadians and Jamaicans when conversing with each other in-group (Jamaican to Jamaican or Trinidadian to Trinidadian) and across-groups (Jamaican to Trinidadian). Hypotheses include linguistically homogenous groups talking to each other at the same speech rate in both English and Creole/Patois and heterogeneous groups exhibiting a slower speech rate, including more concise, less complex utterances. Methodological procedures utilize data analysis from eight participants via a self-produced questionnaire to elicit a speech sample and assess background information. Participants filled out the questionnaire independently, which was followed by a Zoom-recorded interview. Additionally, an adapted wordless picture storyboard was used to obtain data for analyses. Participants range from ages 20 to 80, and all were born in Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago before migrating to the United States. Results display that (insert outcomes, not yet finished with data analysis).