Bahamian English

Not to be confused with Bahamian Creole.

Bahamian English is a dialect of English spoken in the Bahamas and by Bahamian diasporas. The standard for official use and education is British-based.[1] It should not be confused with Bahamian Creole, which is an English-based creole language.


The Bahamian accent is non-rhotic.[1][2]

The realization of vowels in the Bahamian English. The vowels below are named by the lexical set they belong to:

There's poor distinction between the [v] and [w] sounds in Bahamian English.[3] The contrast is often neutralized or merged into [v], [b] or [β], so village sounds like [wɪlɪdʒ], [vɪlɪdʒ] or [βɪlɪdʒ]. This also happens in the Vincentian, Bermudian and other Caribbean Englishes.

Dental fricatives are usually changed to alveolar plosives (th-stopping):


  1. 1 2 Ammon, Ulrich; Dittmar, Norbert; Mattheier, Klaus J. (2006). Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society. Walter de Gruyter. p. 2069. ISBN 978-3-11-018418-1. British-based standard Bahamian English is the official language [...] Although standard Bahamian is non-rhotic, many Bahamians view r-full American pronunciations as "correct" and try to imitate them, even to the extent of introducing a hypercorrect /r/ in [...] Baharmas.
  2. Wells, J. C. (1982). Accents of English. 3: Beyond the British Isles. Cambridge U. Press. p. 570. ISBN 978-0-521-28541-4. The accents of Trinidad and the other Windward and Leeward Islands, and of the Bahamas, are non-rhotic. Jamaica and Guyana occupy intermediate positions, with variable semi-rhoticity.
  3. Childs, Becky; Wolfram, Walt (2008). "Bahamian English: phonology". In Schneider, Edgar W. Varieties of English. 2: The Americas and the Caribbean. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 239–255.

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