chapter  8
The English Words in Sranan
From Where, From Whom, and How?
WithAndré C. Sherriah, Hubert Devonish, Ewart A.C. Thomas, Nicole Creanza
Pages 12

We examine the English origins of Sranan, the English-lexicon creole of Suriname, as well as the necessity for presuming a mediating variety of colonial English as the source of the English features in Sranan. A comparison between the linguistic features of 45 Sranan words of English origin and those of the speech samples included in the Survey of English Dialects, when combined with an analysis of historical records of migration from England to the New World, suggests that Sranan was influenced by two clusters of lects, one from the South and West of England, and the other from East Anglia and the Southeast. In addition, we weigh the evidence concerning variation in word-initial phonemic /h/ and post-vocalic rhoticity, and conclude that it is not necessary to presume a mediating or leveled variety of colonial English (e.g., a koiné) as the source for the feature values in the Sranan-45.