Американский Научный Журнал LINGUO-STYLISTIC PECULIARITIES OF JAMAICAN PATOIS PHRASEOLOGY (30-32)

The relevance of the chosen topic can be explained by the following reasons: 1) nowadays we can observe a vast diversity of language varieties, having English language in its foundations. Many of such language phenomena are unexplored or little-known to date; 2) to our knowledge, peculiarities of phraseology of Jamaican Patois have only been investigated by Jamaican linguist Jean D’Costa: the rest of the works, dedicated to Patois that we managed to find, were focused on different aspect of this mesolect – grammar, vocabulary and syntax in most of the cases. Based on this, we considered interesting to concentrate our attention on phraseological peculiarities of Jamaican Patois; 3) nowadays lots of people all over the world are concerned about the issue of ethnical identity, and language undoubtedly is a crucial part of this issue. Exploring little-known language varieties, such as Jamaican Patois, helps us build up an image of its speakers as a separate ethnical group, and this increases our knowledge of ethnical diversity. Скачать в формате PDF
30 American Scientific Journal № ( 36) / 2020
ФИЛОЛОГИЧЕСКИЕ НАУКИ

LINGUO -STYLISTIC PEC ULIARITIES OF JAMAIC AN PATOIS PHRASEOLOG Y

Lidiia D. Varigina ,
4th year, BA Linguistics,
St. Petersburg University of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Saint -Petersburg, Russia
Zhanna A. Nikiforova ,
Assistant Professor, The Eng lish Language Department,
St. Petersburg University of the Humanities and Soc ial Sciences,
Saint -Petersburg, Russia


The relevance of the chosen topic can be explained
by the following reasons :
1) nowadays we can observe a vast diversity of
language varieties, having E nglish language in its
foundations. Many of such language phenomena are
unexplored or little -known to date;
2) to our knowledge, peculiarities of phraseology
of Jamaican Patois have only been investigated by
Jamaican linguist Jean D’Costa: the rest of the works,
dedicated to Patois that we managed to find, were
focused on different aspect of this mesolect – grammar,
vocabulary and syntax in most of the cases. Based on
this, we co nsidered interesting to concentrate our
attention on phraseological peculiarit ies of Jamaican
Patois;
3) nowadays lots of people all over the world are
concerned about the issue of ethnical identity, and
language undoubtedly is a crucial part of this issu e.
Exploring little -known language varieties, such as
Jamaican Patois, helps u s build up an image of its
speakers as a separate ethnical group, and this increases
our knowledge of ethnical diversity.
We aimed our research at identification and
description of linguo -stylistic peculiarities of
phraseological units, intrinsic to Jamai can mesolect in
song discourse. According to this aim, we set the
following goals for ourselves:
To get acquainted with different approaches to
studying stylistics, basing on wor ks of Russian as well
as international scientists.
To compile a list of phrase ological units,
encountered in the texts of the dancehall songs.
To examine stylistic peculiarities of found
phraseological units.
To describe and systematize our findings.
The o bject of this research is phraseological units,
used by native speakers of Jam aican Patois.
The subject is stylistic peculiarities of these
phraseological units.
The research is based on the texts of dancehall
songs, created and performed by Jamaican Pato is native
speakers. In a study we have analyzed 28 songs.
Stylistic devices are all the types of figurative
meaning of words, word collocations and phonemes
that are also collectively referred to as “tropes”.
Stylistic devices serve for description and ar e mostly
lexical. That includes such types of figurative meanings
of words and expressions as metaphor, metonymy,
hyperbole, meiosis, irony, periphrasis etc.
Build ing of tropes most often stems from two
reasons. In one case there’s a vivid similarity betwe en
the concepts, they are in some way alike (for example,
stubborn person and donkey – both stubborn). The
tropes based on this principle, are called comparative -
metaphorical. They are based on comparison.
In another case there’s no similarity between two
concepts, but they are connected by some common
situation. This group can be called contextual -
discourse, that is here the context and the situation of
speaking are essential [ Николаев , 2011: 76].
One of the tropes that falls under comparative -
metaphorica l group is metaphor. Metaphor is a crucial,
fundamental category of aesthetics: metaphor is a
hidden comparison, when one part of comparison
stands for another. It can often be reestablished into
comparison, by adding a missing part, though it’s not
always possible. There are lots of metaphors, and in
most of the cases they are called exactly this way –
“metaphor”, without any special name for each type
[Николаев , 2011: 77].
Metaphor - transference of names based on the
associated likeness between two objec ts, as in the
"pancake", or "ball", or "volcano" for the "sun"; "silver
dust", "sequins" for "stars"; "vault", "blanket", "veil"
for the "sky" [ Кухаренк о, 2000: 23].
One more trope that also pertains to comparative -
metaphorical group is hyperbole – explici t
exaggeration. Hyperbole is called upon to highlight
some attribute, to attract attention to it. Very often
“ready -made” hyperboles, speech clichés and idioms
are used for this reason: “We have already been
promised that for ages ”; “Here people grab their phones
and call their closest ones every second ” [ Николаев ,
2011: 78].
Hyperbole - a deliberate overstatement or
exaggeration of a feature essential ( unlike periphrasis)
to the object or phenomenon. [Galperin, 1982: 160]
e.g. "He was so tall that I was n ot sure he had a
face." (O. Henry)
As we’ve mentioned before, among language
expressive means there are means that pertain to
contextual -discourse group . Metonymy serves as an
example of such means – it’s a trope based on a general
situation that can be di fferent in real life: common place
("... to the delight of the whole inn -yard..." (Ch.

American Scientific Journal № ( 36) / 2020 31

Dickens.), form and content (“I’ve just had two cups of
coffee”), author and their creation ("Some remarkable
pictures in this room, gentlemen. A Holbein, two Van
Dycks and if I am not mistaken, a Velasquez.”) etc. As
a rule, metonymy is more connected to the context than
metaphor, it depends on the tradition of usage m ore. It
especially relates to so called elliptical metonymies that
are constituted due to omitting a par t of a text. For
example, «I like Shakespeare» instead of «I like books
by Shakespeare» [ Николаев , 2011: 81].
Metonymy is based on a different type of r elation
between the dictionary and contextual meanings, a
relation based not on identification, but on s ome kind
of association connecting the two concepts which these
meanings represent [Galperin, 1982: 131].
Sarcasm also belongs to contextual -discourse
group of stylistic devices. Sarcasm is the toughest and
the most explicit case of irony, which is always
revealing; sarcasm is a stressed mean mocking: "Thank
you for explaining that my eye cancer isn't going to
make me deaf. I feel so fortunate that an intellectual
giant like yourself would deign to operate on me” - John
Green, The Fault in Our Stars [Your Di ctionary].
Sarcasm - a way of speaking or writing that
involves saying the opposite of what you really mea n
in order to make an unkind joke or to show that you are
annoyed [Longman Dictionary of Contemporary
English].
Over the course of our research we als o found an
example of a lexical unit called antithesis, that is a
syntactically emphasized drastic juxtapo sition: "A saint
abroad, and a devil at home" (Bunyan) [Николаев ,
2011: 85] .
Antithesis is a stylistic opposition, which is based
on relative oppositi on which arises out of the context
through the expansion of objectively contrasting pairs,
[Galperin, 1982 : 202].
Now we would like to dwell on the examples,
demonstrating the results of our research. In the course
of work we stated that the majority of th e examined
phraseological units are based on metaphor. One of the
cases was found in the song Spice –Table s Turn: “tables
turn the tables turn, what goes around comes back
around” – in this excerpt, as well as in the name of the
song, we can see an idiom tables turn , which is defined
by Oxford Dictionary of idioms in the following way:
“turn the tables - reverse your position relative to
someone else, especially by turning a position of
disadvantage into one of advantage.” In accordance
with the information about the origin of this idiom, also
presented in Oxford Dictionary of idioms, up to the
middle of the 18th century the word tables was used in
the reference to backgammon. At a certain point during
the game the participants should turn the table they
wer e sitting at, consequently, one player found
themselves on the position of another one.
Phraseological unit turn the tables, or tables turn – the
way it’s used in the song, is based on the metaphor of
switching positions of participants of any situation th is
idiom c an be used in.
In the course of the analysis conveyed we also
discovered that some of the idioms we found are based
on such stylistic device as hyperbole . The extract from
a song Mavado -Hope and Pray serves as example of it:
“Badmind, grudgeful, dying fi mi fidget” ( англ .
badmind, grudgeful, dying for my fidget): this line
contains an idiom dying for/to , and Cambridge
Dictionary provides the following definition of it: to be
extremely eager to have or do something [Cambridge
Dictionary]. In our o pinion, th e phraseological unit
under consideration is based on hyperbole: the one
who’s using it says that they are “dying” of the desire
to do or obtain something, which is an obvious
exaggeration, introduced into for a brighter transition
of emotions.
The next ph raseological unit we would like to
discuss is from the text of the song Vybz Kartel - Gon
get better:
“Man real from the cradle to the headstone ” (eng.
Man is real from the cradle to the headstone): in this
piece of the text we can notice an idio m from the cradle
to the headstone , which is a slightly altered variant of
the idiom from the cradle to the grave , described by
McGraw Hill’s Essential American Idioms Dictionary
in the following way: from the cradle to the grave -
from birth to death [Spe ars 2007: 66]. In this case the
author of the song substitutes the word grave , used in
the initial version, for the word headsto ne, that doesn’t
change the meaning of the phrase. Phraseological unit
under analysis is based on antithesis : cradle is
contrast ed with grave or headstone as extreme points of
a person’s life cycle.
Besides antithesis this extract contains such
stylistic d evise as metonymy : we believe that in this
case it’s reflected through the contrasted parts on
antithesis from the cradle to the headstone, i.e. cradle
and headstone . Cradle is a symbol that refers to the
concept “childhood”, whereas grave is a symbol that
refers to the concept “death”.
We’ve already made an example of a metaphor
from the texts we analyzed, but now we’d like to
ela borate on one more case. One of the songs we used
in our research, Jafrass – up and up , contains the
following lyrics:
“Dem want slow me down that's not my pace See
the rat dem a run but that's not my race” (engl. They
want to slow me down that’s not my pa ce See the rats
running that’s not my race). The presented lines
comprise an idiom rat race . This is how Free
Dictionary by Farlex determinates its meaning: 1. A
fierce competition for success, wealth, or power. 2. A
busy, tiring routine [The Free Dictiona ry By Farlex] .
First, the given idiom is based on metaphor: people,
constantly striving for wealth, are c ompared with rats,
taking part in a race. Moreover, we think that this idiom
also ha s sarcasm in its foundation: constant pursuit of
material success is compared with a rat race, thus it’s
mocked in a quite pungent manner, since the image of
rats has a ne gative disdainful emotional hint.
Throughout our research we also found several
phraseological units that are specific to Patois, and now
we’d like to illustrate one of such:
Mavado - Hope and prey
“Badmind, grudgeful, dying fi mi fidget” ( eng.
badmind, gr udgeful, dying for my fidget): in this
fragment we can see a word badmind , defined by

32 American Scientific Journal № ( 36) / 2020
online -dictionary of English slang words and phrases
Urban Dictio nary as “someone resentful of the fortune
or success of others, wishing for their ruin, downfall ,
failure, etc; a term popularized by dancehall reggae”
[Urban Dictionary]. This definition lets us con clude
that this lexical unit is specific to Jamaican mesolect of
English language. As a stylistic device, badmind can be
related to epithet, since this language unit functions as
an adjective and possesses vivid emotional coloring.
During lyrics analysis w e encountered
phraseological units that have no stylistic devices in
their foundations. For instance:
L-o c t a n e – m i e a r s a r i n g
“Oh God, me ears a ring” ( eng. Oh God, my ears
are ringing) – in this line we can observe a typical for
Jamaican mesolect idiom ears a ring (eng. ears are
ringing), used in situations when unflattering things are
said behind a person’s back. We can also see this idiom
in the lyrics of another dancehall song, Masicka – ears
a ring “Look like me ears a ring, dem call me name
again” ( eng . Looks like my ears are ringing, they are
calling me names again).
In the course of our research we managed to find
and analyze 41 phraseological unit, 2 7 of whi ch had
tropes. This observation proves expressiveness of
phraseological layer of Patois. 17 of these 27
phraseological units contain metaphor; it means that
this trope is one of the most frequently used in
phraseology of Jamaican Creole. Analyzing the
stru cture of the phraseological units found, we also
encountered many other tropes, such as hyperbole,
antithesis, metonymy, sarcasm and others, that is
illustrative of diversity of stylistic devices, used in
Jamaican Patois phraseology.

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2011. 158 p.
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