Whose Kriol is Moa Beta? Prestige and Dialects of Kriol in Belize?

  • Whose Kriol is Moa Beta? Prestige and Dialects of Kriol in Belize?

by William Salmon & Jennifer Gómez Menjívar




This study reports on language attitudes toward varieties of Belizean Kriol in the Central American, Caribbean country of Belize. We used a verbal-guise test with 81 participants, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data in Punta Gorda and Belize City, and we found that the variety of Kriol spoken in Belize City is perceived along several dimensions as being of greater prestige than the variety spoken in Punta Gorda. Derivative of these findings is the potentially more interesting fact that there is more than one variety of Kriol spoken in Belize in the first place—a fact which has not been previously reported in the literature. This paper will report the preferences of Kriol speakers toward two different varieties of Kriol, grouped by city and gender, on eight different personality attributes. We believe that these results can have potentially important consequences in Belize in terms of education and language planning, especially as the recently independent country continues to grow and develop its identity as a country with strong cultural and historical ties to both Central America and the Caribbean.



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Keywords: Kriol, Punta Gorda, Southern Belize, linguistic.



Suggested APA Reference: Salmon, W., & Menjivar, J. G. (2014, February). Whose Kriol is moa beta? Prestige and dialects of Kriol in Belize. In Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (Vol. 40, pp. 456-479).

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