Jafaican, also called Blockney and Multicultural London English, is a fairly recent dialect (and/or sociolect) of English spoken mainly in inner city London. According to research by Queen Mary, University of London, Jafaican is gaining territory from Cockney.

The word (also written Jafaikan) is a neologism which became prominent in 2006, coined as a portmanteau of the words "Jamaican" and "fake".

It is said to contain many elements from the languages of Jamaica, West Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Although the name "Jafaican" implies that it is "fake" Jamaican, researchers indicate that it is not the language of white kids trying to "play cool" but rather that " [it is] more likely that young people have been growing up in London exposed to a mixture of second-language English and local London English and that this new variety has emerged from that mix".cite news |first=Laura |last=Clark |title='Jafaican' is wiping out inner-city English accents |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=382734&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source |date=2006-04-12 |accessdate=2008-02-02 ] It is also possible that it is a blend of the aforementioned dialects with some Americanisms often used within rap and hip hop culture.

Jafaican is used mainly by young, inner-city working-class people. Others (mainly young) use it to varying degrees mixed with Cockney, received pronunciation, or their own ethnic accent.

General Features


*Like many varieties of English, Multicultural London English is non-rhotic.


*"loss of H-dropping"
*"advanced fronting of GOOSE"
*"fronting of FOOT less advanced in London than in periphery": lack of fronting of FOOT in inner city is conservative, matching Caribbean Englishes.
*"lack of GOAT-fronting": absent in most inner-London speakers of both sexes and all ethnicities, present in outer-city girls.
*Instead, "GOAT-monophthongisation": highly correlated with ethnicity (Afro-Caribbean, Black African) and multi-ethnic network (for Anglos).
*"PRICE-lowering across region": This is seen as a reversal of the Diphthong Shift. However, the added fronting is greater in London than in the south-east periphery. Fronting and monophthongisation of PRICE is correlated with ethnicity; it is strongest among non-Anglos. It seems to be a geographically directional and diachronically gradual process. The change (from approximately [ɔɪ] ) involves lowering of the onset, and as such is a reversal of the Diphthong Shift. It is interpretable as a London innovation with diffusion to the periphery.
*"Raised Onset of FACE": Like PRICE, monophthongisation of FACE is strongest among non-Anglos.
*"MOUTH realized as [aː] ": In inner-city London, [aː] is the norm for MOUTH. Additionally, [ɑʊ] is used by some non-Anglos, especially girls, in the inner city.


Tag-questions are limited to "isn't it", realised as "innit", and the corresponding "is it?".

ee also

* London slang


2. www.ucy.ac.cy/~iclave4/E.%20Torgersen,%20P.%20Kerswill,%20S.%20Fox... -3. www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/projects/linguistics/innovators/documents/Oxford_Kerswill_Nov07_000.ppt -4. www.abdn.ac.uk/langling/resources/Kerswill.ppt -

External links

* [http://www.worldwidewords.org/topicalwords/yw-jaf1.htm "Jafaikan" at World Wide Words]
* "Learn Jafaikan in Two Minutes"- Article by Emily Ashton from the "Guardian" newspaper [http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,,1752000,00.html]

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