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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesProfessor Explores ‘Crucian’ as Language, Dialect and Culture

Professor Explores ‘Crucian’ as Language, Dialect and Culture

Linguistics professor Nicholas Faraclas tackled the question whether “Crucian” is considered a language or a dialect during a forum Wednesday night at Whim Museum.
The St. Croix Landmarks Society’s third annual “Come Home to St. Croix” celebration of culture, language and history continued its fourth event in the weeklong festivities, “Crucian Spoken Here: Language or Dialect.”
Faraclas, a a tenured professor at the University of the Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras explored the history and origin of Crucian and explained, “Crucian is a language, just like any other language.”
And while he said some people view Crucian as “an inferior way of speaking, “No language is better than any other language.”
Faraclas said Crucian is also the identity and culture of an individual and that, after 30 years of studying Crucian, Crucian can be a language, a dialect or an accent.
He said although there are 6,000 languages, only 50 are written. “Having it written doesn’t make it a language,” Faraclas said.
Faraclas paused the power point presentation for a moment where a pair of Crucians performed a skit demonstrating how the language, dialect or accent may sound to the general public.
After the presentation, Faraclas said the performance was a way of introducing new words and a new world.
During the close of the presentation, the audience became excited when the questions and comments segment began.
Kimberly Butler, a California native, said Crucian is definitely a dialect. “It’s between people within the same element,” Butler said, adding that the skit made it clear that the dialect spoken during the performance would be understandable to individuals within the same region.
Butler said English is a language spoken widely and, although it is a struggle, people tend to understand it.
Every year in July the “Come Home to St. Croix” celebration supports the cultural heritage and traditions of the big island through family reunions, family research and other activities.
Editor’s Note: This article has been edited to correct Dr. Nicholas Faraclas’ academic affiliation. He is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico.
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Linguistics professor Nicholas Faraclas tackled the question whether “Crucian” is considered a language or a dialect during a forum Wednesday night at Whim Museum.
The St. Croix Landmarks Society’s third annual “Come Home to St. Croix” celebration of culture, language and history continued its fourth event in the weeklong festivities, “Crucian Spoken Here: Language or Dialect.”
Faraclas, a a tenured professor at the University of the Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras explored the history and origin of Crucian and explained, “Crucian is a language, just like any other language.”
And while he said some people view Crucian as “an inferior way of speaking, “No language is better than any other language.”
Faraclas said Crucian is also the identity and culture of an individual and that, after 30 years of studying Crucian, Crucian can be a language, a dialect or an accent.
He said although there are 6,000 languages, only 50 are written. “Having it written doesn’t make it a language,” Faraclas said.
Faraclas paused the power point presentation for a moment where a pair of Crucians performed a skit demonstrating how the language, dialect or accent may sound to the general public.
After the presentation, Faraclas said the performance was a way of introducing new words and a new world.
During the close of the presentation, the audience became excited when the questions and comments segment began.
Kimberly Butler, a California native, said Crucian is definitely a dialect. “It’s between people within the same element,” Butler said, adding that the skit made it clear that the dialect spoken during the performance would be understandable to individuals within the same region.
Butler said English is a language spoken widely and, although it is a struggle, people tend to understand it.
Every year in July the “Come Home to St. Croix” celebration supports the cultural heritage and traditions of the big island through family reunions, family research and other activities.
Editor's Note: This article has been edited to correct Dr. Nicholas Faraclas' academic affiliation. He is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico.