The close study of grammatical wrangling as regional actors in Kerala sought to formalize their language register as a literary standard--and simultaneously devalue the Tamil acrolect
of the Pandya south as one of several regional dialects--beautifully reveals how the demands for "Dravidian-ness" and hyper-Sanskritization were intertwined.
She reverses the privilege that comes with proximity to Standard English, the late eighteenth century's linguistic acrolect
Ulrike Gut's narrow focus on relativization strategies in professionals' speech ("Relative Markers in Spoken Standard Jamaican English") presents a view of an acrolect
that seems to draw from written English, and is thus sometimes more formal than the Standard English norm (for example in its exclusion of the widespread 'that' relative pronoun).
between creole and standard poles" (Rickford 2): some speak primarily or exclusively in the heavy or "basilect" form; most switch codes easily and frequently, using intermediate, "mesolect" forms; one or two others use the "acrolect
" or standard English form.
In this model, the acrolect
(Standard Jamaican English) is a direct result of the British's presence and is "essentially a regional dialect of English associated with upper- and upper-middle-class speakers and spoken in the capital of Kingston and other metropolitan areas" (Wassink and Dyer 15).
What is unusual and interesting about the creole continuum is that there is a spectrum of speech varieties ranging from the conservative creole (the basilect), to the intermediate creolized varieties (the mesolect), to the standard variety of English (the acrolect
), a phenomenon which gives rise to a great deal of linguistic fluidity, that is, any variable, whether it be phonological, morphological, or syntactic, can have as its variants, features that are identifiable with the conservative creole variety (basilectal features), features identified with the Standard English variety (acrolectal), and several other intermediate variants diagnostic of the mid-range zone of the continuum (mesolectal features).
* While vetting acronym, incidentally, I came upon off-road acrolect
, yet another noun we can use.
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."
Honey, John 1985: "Acrolect
and Hyperlect: The Redefinition of English RP".