Diaspora’s Dialect: Cultural Exchange and the Transformation of Jamaican Patois in the Greater Toronto Area

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Wilkinson, Raven-Paige




Patois, the unofficial language of Jamaica, has been hybridized since its inception due to the slavery, violence, and subversion that took place during colonialism. It is thus influenced by various cultures, styles, and identities. Over time, its significance surpassed the Caribbean and influenced localities such as the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which has incorporated many aspects of Jamaican culture and language. As such, this project asks, in what ways is Patois, a language long used to define Jamaican culture, now contributing to cultures in locations abroad, through various processes and connections?

Using an online survey and interviews, this empirical project weaves postcolonial thought with cultural studies and personal narratives to provide new insights on Patois' connection to the Toronto community, and what it means for a language to transform significantly throughout space and time. This research contributes a fresh perspective to the wider discourse on modern social and cultural exchange.


Mass Communications
Ethnic and Racial Studies




Carleton University

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