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Hackert, Stephanie (2015): Pseudotitles in Bahamian English. A Case of Americanization? In: Journal of English Linguistics, Vol. 43, No. 2: pp. 143-167


This study investigates the use of so-called pseudotitles, that is, determiner-less structures providing descriptive information in front of name noun phrases, as in linguist Allan Bell, in Bahamian newspaper language. Pseudotitles originated in American journalistic writing, but they have spread to numerous varieties of English worldwide and even to British English. A corpus of pre-independence and contemporary press news reports is analyzed quantitatively with a view to establishing not only the frequency of pseudotitles but also the constraints that govern their usage in Bahamian English. The study also considers the position and structure of equivalent appositives and their relationships with pseudotitles. It will be shown that, at least with regard to the feature investigated here, Bahamian journalists followed American norms even in British colonial times, which may be accounted for by the social history and current sociolinguistic situation of the country. At the same time, these norms have been modified and adapted to local linguistic realities, which presents another piece of evidence in favor of a nuanced view of linguistic Americanization.