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Ecky‐becky: Evidence of Scots echo word morphology in Barbadian English

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There is very little detailed investigation regarding the contributions of minority European languages to the multilingual sociolinguistic environment in seventeenth and eighteenth century Barbados. This paper traces the linguistic origins of the derogatory local white exonym ecky‐becky in Barbadian English. Ecky‐becky is one of several derogatory exonyms in Barbadian English that has been used to refer to the local, rural white population, traditionally found living in the Scotland District of the island. The form ecky‐becky is shown to be the ethnographic product of multi‐ethnic encounters within the emergent social structure of colonial Barbados. Linguistically, ecky‐becky is analyzed as the application of Scots morphology to the West Indian Francophone root bek√©.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Cleveland State University

Publication date: 01 February 2004

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