Barbadian English or Bajan English is a dialect of the English language as used by Barbadians (Bajans) and by Barbadian diasporas. It should not be confused with Bajan Creole, which is an English-based creole language.
Barbadian English is very rhotic and full of glottal stops. It is also very ubiquitous for the first vowel in price or prize. One example of Barbadian English would be the pronunciation of departments, which is IPA: [dɪˈpaːɹʔmənʔs].
- The realization of the KIT vowel in Barbadian English is pretty much the same as in American English, the default [ɪ].
- The DRESS vowel is [ɛ].
- The TRAP vowel is usually [a].
- The LOT vowel is usually [ɑ] or [ɒ].
- The STRUT vowel is the same as in the US English, [ʌ].
- The FOOT vowel is [ʊ].
- The FLEECE vowel is [iː].
- The FACE diphthong varies by region and education/class: it manifests in educated speech generally as [eː] or sometimes [eɪ], and in rural and uneducated speech as the vowel [ɛ].
- The PALM vowel is mostly [aː].
- The THOUGHT vowel is [ɑː] or [ɒː].
- The GOAT diphthong is generally [oː] or [oə].
- The NEAR diphthong and the SQUARE diphthong are both [eːɹ].
- The START vowel is [aːɹ].
- The NORTH vowel is usually [ɑːɹ] or [ɒːɹ].
- The FORCE diphthong and the CURE diphthong are both usually [oːɹ].
- The BATH vowel is mostly [aː].
- The CLOTH vowel is mostly [ɒː].
- The NURSE vowel is [ɤ].
- The GOOSE vowel is mostly [uː].
- The PRICE/PRIZE diphthong is generally [ʌɪ].
- The CHOICE diphthong is either [ʌɪ] or [oɪ].
- The MOUTH diphthong is [ʌʊ].
- The final HAPPY vowel is pretty much alike the FLEECE vowel [iː].
- The final LETTER vowel is [ɤ].
- The final HORSES vowel is [ɪ].
- The final COMMA vowel is [ə].
- The TRAP and LOT vowels are not merged in Barbadian English. However the vowels of LOT, CLOTH and THOUGHT are generally merged.