If I am right in thinking that what is referred to here as Georgetown creole had different linguistic inputs and developed within a different socio-cultural milieu from the language varieties in the rest of Guyana, and if the linguistic consequence of this mix were different from the linguistic systems in general use in the rest of the country, then it cannot be reasonable to refer to Georgetown Creole English as a decreolization of a basilect
which developed in the same country.
Most of the former BWI has a bicultural, bilingual heritage with the 'high' culture as Anglo-European-based, whose mode of expression is Standard English, and the 'low' culture as Afro-Creole, whose mode of expression has historically been a basilect
English Creole (Barnes 2006).
Luis's production tends toward a mesolect, although he also exhibits a "deep" or basilect
variety in some instances.
In contrast, the basilect
(known as Jamaican Creole) contains "the greatest number of West African retentions, [is] spoken mostly in rural areas, and [is] associated with working-class speakers" (Wassink and Dyer 15).
From the perspective of the acquisition of academic writing in Standard English, the mixing of these varieties due to the bidirectional shifting between Creole English (the basilect
and the mesolect) and Standard English (the acrolect) can create a blurring of distinctness on the part of the Creole-English speaker as to what linguistic system belongs to Creole English on one hand, and what constitutes the linguistic system of Standard English on the other.
The introductory chapter contains a brief presentation of useful but very often problematic terminology to be used in the book (language, dialect, acrolect, basilect
, mesolect, creole, etc.
Solibo used the four facets of our diglossia," he writes: "the Creole basilect
and acrolect, the French basilect
and acrolect, quivering, vibrating, rooted in an interlectal space that I thought to be our more exact socio-linguistic reality.
Hence, to designate the nationally prestigious spoken American English, the term acrolect is used in contrast to the term basilect
and mesolect which refer to the less prestigious varieties.
In a characteristic image, Chamoiseau, following Jean Bernabe, has likened acrolectal French and basilectal creole to two contiguous mangrove swamps linked by intermediary mangrove where interlectal exchanges between acrolect and basilect
takes place and where an "intermediary creole" (an Kreyol mitannye) is constantly in the process of being formed and reformed, combining and recombining elements drawn from the other two mangroves into ever-changing syncretic patterns.
They produced some mesolectal Tobagonian Creole (Tob mc) and some acrolect (Tob s) or some basilect
(Tob bc) and some mesolect in a proportional representation of the two varieties which was not random but pre-selected and controlled.
However, Youssef states in her conclusion that she observed a trend toward a community preference for the mesolect, away both from basilects
Just as the early eighteenth century Moravian missionaries, in the Danish West Indies, inadvertently created a written Church Creole different from the oral original, in the next generation or two, I expect to see the development of a number of written "University Creoles" growing out of the difference between the oral basilects
of the folk and the written mesolects of literate intellectuals.