Michelle Straw has a chapter published on AIN’T
29th April 2015
Michelle Straw has a chapter published in Ain’thology: The history and life of a taboo word. The chapter is entitled “Language change in a post-creole British contact setting: non-standard Ain’t negation.” She considers the kinds of changes in language that arise from contact of different linguistic groups. In particular, she considers the post-colonial context of Caribbean migration to the UK and focuses on a small Barbadian community in Suffolk who have resided in the town for at least three generations. Despite complaints about people’s use of ain’t, it is widespread in the UK and in most English speaking countries, including Barbados. Michelle describes how ain’t is part of the grammar of Suffolk Barbadian varieties and examines how Barbadian migrants and their descendants change their speech as they negotiate new social and linguistic identities in England.