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Kweyolphone Countries Take Stock of the Language's Growth

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 Promoters of the French based Kwyl language met in Martinique recently to examine emerging trends in the language. The participants gathered under the umbrella of the Standing Workshop on Kwyl, which is organised by the International Research and Development Institute, the University of the French West Indies and the University of Haiti.

Two members of the St. Lucia Kwyl Committee represented the island at the conference which focussed primarily on the Socio- Linguistic Status of Kwyl Language. . The conference drew Linguists, Writers and Educators among many other Kwyl professional practitioners to dialogue on the issues affecting the growth and development of Kwyl in the Kweyolphone Caribbean.

One of the representatives Ms. Lindy Alexander says the conference served as a platform for participants to increase knowledge and understanding of issues, examine the reasons behind newly emerging trends of the language and renew or build new contacts.

The main items down for reflection at the workshop first of all an update on the Linguistic and Socio Linguistic situation concerning French Kwyl in the Caribbean area and looked at how the Kwyl has evolved both quantitatively and qualitatively. We also looked at how the language is being normalised and standardised.

She says one of the concerns arising during dialogue refers to the trend of borrowing words from the official language by persons when theyre supposed to speak strictly in Kwyl. This practice was highlighted as a serious threat to the preservation of the language.

The St. Lucian delegation reported on several progressive strides made in the recognition and development of Kwyl, particularly in government business, the media and the arts.

Well we have a lot more good Kwyl programmes in the media especially. We have the Government Information Service, we have the Konsit Kwyl and most of the private stations have Kwyl Programming. The Kwyl is being spoken; it is now in Parliament and thats a very big step - that the Standing Orders have been modified in order to present the opening speech by the Governor General in Kwyl. Ms. Alexander said

Kwyl Language producer at the Government Information Service and Radio St .Lucia Mr. Michael Gaspard was the other Saint Lucian representative at the conference.

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