Overstanding Idren: Special features of Rasta Talk morphology


This study examines two distinctive neologistic processes within Rasta Talk. (1) Overstanding is morphological refashioning of a word that replaces morphemes (actual or perceived) which are misaligned with respect to the connotations of the word itself. Thus the word understanding, bearing positive connotations, is repaired by transforming the negatively mis-connotating sub-component under- into over-. (2) Iformation is the targeting of (depending on a word’s structure) either the first syllable or the first segment for replacement by /ai/ or /j/; e.g. ancient and food become I-cient and yood, respectively. These two processes contribute greatly to the salient properties of Rasta Talk, and involve a large degree of complexity which merits detailed scrutiny.

Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 33(2): 280-306.
Benjamin Slade
Benjamin Slade
Associate Professor of Linguistics

My research interests include formal semantics and syntax, historical linguistics, South Asian and Caribbean languages, and the use of computational concepts in formal linguistics.