The “real” Haitian Creole: ideology, metalinguistics, and orthographic choice

Bambi Schieffelin, R. Doucet

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article analyzes competing representations of kreyòl and the symbolic importance of decisions taken in standardizing a kreyòl orthography. Kreyòl, which educated Haitians claim to share with the masses, is an enduring symbol of Haitian identity, yet the image of this language is deeply contested in several arenas. Linking language ideology, in particular metalinguistic terms that refer to varieties of spoken kreyòl, to orthographic choice, we view the debates as part of a nationalist discourse about Haitianness—what is authentic and legitimate—and examine the role of language in national identity formation. [Haitian Creole, language ideology, metalinguistics, orthography, national identity] 1994 American Anthropological Association

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)176-200
    Number of pages25
    JournalAmerican Ethnologist
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 1994

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology


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