Liberian English

Liberian English refers to the varieties of English spoken in Liberia. There are five such varieties:

Normally, Liberians use these terms to refer to all such varieties simply as "English". Additionally, the term "Liberian English" is sometimes used for all varieties except the standard.

Standard Liberian English

Standard Liberian English is the language of those people whose African American ancestors from the United States and the Caribbean islands immigrated to Liberia in the nineteenth century. This variety is a transplanted variety of African American Vernacular English from the southern part of the United States. It is most distinctive in isolated settlements such as Louisiana, Lexington, and Bluntsville, small communities upriver from Greenville in Sinoe County. According to 1993 statistics, approximately 69,000 people, or 2.5% of the population, spoke Standard Liberian English as a first language.

The vowel system is more elaborate than in other West African variants; Standard Liberian English distinguishes [i] from [ɪ], and [u] from [ʊ], and uses the diphthongs [aɪ], [aʊ], and [əɪ]. Vowels can be nasalized. The final vowel of happy is [ɛ]. It favors open syllables, usually omitting syllable-final [t], [d], or a fricative. The interdental fricatives [θ, ð] appear as [t, d] in syllable-initial position, and as [f, v] finally. The glottal fricative [h] is preserved, as is the voiceless labio-velar fricative [ʍ] (in such words as whit and which in contrast to voiced [w] in wit and wish). Affricates have lost their stop component, thus [tʃ] > [ʃ]. Between vowels, [t] may be flapped (>[ɾ]) as in North American English. Liquids are lost at the end of words or before consonants, making Standard Liberian English a non-rhotic dialect.[1]

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