NATION LANGUAGE

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NATION LANGUAGE. A term coined by the poet and scholar Edward Brathwaite to present Caribbean CREOLE in a positive light, especially in its artistic and literary use (History of the Voice: The Development of Nation Language in Anglophone Caribbean Poetry, London: New Beacon, 1984). His concern has been to break away from the traditions of speakers of English in the Caribbean and elsewhere. He acknowledges the English lexical sources of Creole, but affirms the Africanness of its rhythms, experiential content, and personality, as well as its cultural links with West Africa. He opposes the term to DIALECT, whose pejorative connotations he sees as inappropriate and limiting. See CARIBBEAN ENGLISH.

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