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Bahamian English

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Title: Bahamian English  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Anglo-America, List of dialects of the English language, Regional accents of English, Languages of the Bahamas, Bahamian American
Collection: English Dialects, Languages of the Bahamas
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bahamian English

Bahamian English is a dialect of English spoken in the Bahamas and by Bahamian diasporas. It should not be confused with Bahamian Creole, which is an English-based creole language.


  • Pronunciation 1
  • Grammar 2
  • Vocabulary 3
  • References 4


  • The Kit Vowel: The realization of the kit vowel in the Bahamian English is pretty much the same as in American English, the default [ɪ].
  • The Dress Vowel: The vowel of dress is [ɛ].
  • The Trap Vowel: This vowel is mostly [a] or [æ].
  • The Lot Vowel: As mostly of the US, this vowel is usually [ɑ].
  • The Strut Vowel: It is the same as in the US English, [ʌ].
  • The Foot Vowel: It is [ʊ].
  • The Fleece Vowel: It's [i] or a diphthong [ɪi].
  • The Face Diphthong: It's generally [eɪ] or [ɛɪ].
  • The Palm Vowel: It is mostly [ɑ].
  • The Thought Vowel: The vowel of thought is [ɔ].
  • The Goat Diphthong: It's generally [ɵʊ] or [oʊ].
  • The Near Diphthong: It's [eə] or [iə].
  • The Square Diphthong: It's [eə].
  • The Start Vowel: It's [ɑː].
  • The North Diphthong: The diphthong in north is usually [ɔə].
  • The Force Diphthong: The diphthong in force is usually [oə].
  • The Cure Diphthong: The diphthong in cure is usually [uə].
  • The Bath Vowel: This vowel is mostly [a] or [æ].
  • The Cloth Vowel: It is mostly [ɔ].
  • The Nurse Vowel: It varies among [ə], [ɜ] and [ɜi].
  • The Goose vowel: It's mostly [ʉː].
  • The Price/Prize Dithphong: It's generally [ɑɪ].
  • The Choice Diphthong: It's [oɪ] or [ɑɪ].
  • The Mouth Diphthong: It varies among [ao], [aɵ] [aɛ] and [ɑə].
  • The happY vowel: It is pretty much the kit vowel: [ɪ].
  • The lettEr-horsEs-commA vowel is [ə].
  • The Bahamian accent is non-rhotic.
  • There's poor distinction between the [v] and [w] sounds in Bahamian English. The contrast is often neutralized or merged into [v], [b] or [β], so village sounds like [wɪlɪdʒ], [vɪlɪdʒ] or [βɪlɪdʒ]. This also happens in the Vincentian, Bermudian and other Caribbean Englishes.
  • Dental fricatives are usually changed to alveolar plosives:

Voiced: -"That" turning into "Dat". -"Those" turning into "Dose". -"There" turning into "Dere". -"They" turning into "Dey".

Unvoiced: -"Thanks" becoming "Tanks". -"Throw" becoming "Trow".




  • Kortmann, Bernd (2004). A Handbook of Varieties of English: Phonology. Walter de Gruyter.  

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