Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Iyabo F. Osiapem

Committee Members

Adela Amaral

Leslie Cochrane

Anya Lunden


The social, political, and linguistic situations in Barbados specifically and the English-official West Indies generally are marked by the legacy of hundreds of years of colonial rule. Labor flows from poorer countries like Guyana to richer ones like Barbados calcify regional economic hierarchies that replaced regional colonial offices. Regional economic institutions like the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as described by their Mission and Core Values, were created in part to “affirm the collective identity and facilitate social cohesion of the people of the Community” to enable the new intraregional, no longer colonial, market to take advantage of regional labor (CARICOM Secretariat and Williams, 2014, p. 8-11). Regional cohesion in the Caribbean is a recent concept and a so-called postcolonial solution informed by a colonial past and present. Studying language attitudes that Barbadians have towards speakers from groups in the region, derived from semantic differential surveys and qualitative interviews conducted at the multinational campus of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill in Barbados, allows for an understanding of how Barbadian university students reflect on language as a marker of regional vs. national identity and the role of labor migration in the contemporary Caribbean. Further, perceived language attitudes may corroborate narratives of social anxiety surrounding labor migration in Barbados.

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