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Trinidadian English (TE) or Trinidad and Tobago Standard English is a dialect of English used in Trinidad and Tobago. English co-exists with both non-standard varieties of English as well as with Creole English varieties, primarily Trinidadian Creole English in Trinidad and Tobagonian Creole English in Tobago. Most speakers use Trinidadian or Tobagonian Creole in informal discourse but switch to the standard dialect of English (to varying degrees) in formal settings.

As for all other varieties of standard English, Trinidadian English was originally based on a standard of British English. Located in the Americas, TE now uses many Americanisms from its larger and more dominant northern neighbour, including apartment, trunk (of a car) and truck, although flat is also used, and bonnet continues to be more commonly used than hood (of a car) (but lorry is not used). In addition, many words from the vernacular have found their way into standard English, including such words as to lime (to 'hang out' or 'to party'), fête (French) meaning 'to party', lagniappe - pronounced "lan-yap"[1] (of Spanish origin from la ñapa) meaning 'a little something extra', and dougla (of Hindi origin), now meaning 'a person of both African and Indian parentage'[2] (all adstrate languages).

Note: Although Trinidadian English is mutually intelligible with other varieties of international standard English, the speech varieties in Trinidad (and to some degree Tobago) vary by location and circumstances. The language tends to be highly flexible with current words from British, American, Jamaican and other Englishes. The sound of Trinidadian English is often remarked on by tourists and foreigners for its so-called "sing-song" (a monotonously rising and falling inflection of the voice) intonation.



  1. ^ Menzies (1986), p. 85.
  2. ^ Mendes (1986), p. 47.


  • Mendes, John (1986). Cote ce Cote la: Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary. Arima, Trinidad.

See also

External links




Up to date as of January 23, 2010

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