The Social and Sonic Semantics of Reggae: Language Ideology and Emergent Socialities in Postcolonial Vanuatu

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This study breaks new ground into the emerging discipline of sonic semantics and the study of language ideologies in postcolonial contexts. The case in point is the reggae sociality in Port Vila, Vanuatu, where young Pacific Islanders are forming new ways of socializing on the fragments of kastom ‘traditional culture’ and with an ambivalent stance towards the value system represented by jioj ‘church’. As a cultural keyword, reke ‘reggae’ offers a rich point for understanding local language-embedded ideologies, and also for understanding the status of Bislama, the national creole.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage & Communication
Pages (from-to)102-116
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Reggae
  • Pacific Reggae
  • Sonic Semantics
  • Bislama
  • Cultural Semantics
  • Postcolonial Semantics
  • Language Ideology
  • Language and Sociality
  • Language and Urban Youth

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