This study examines newspaper writing from ten Caribbean countries as a window on the norm orientation of English in the region. English in the former British colonies of the Caribbean has been assumed to be especially prone to postcolonial linguistic Americanization, on account of not just recent global phenomena such as mass tourism and media exposure but also long-standing personal and sociocultural links. We present a quantitative investigation of variable features comparing our Caribbean results not just to American and British reference corpora but also to newspaper collections from India and Nigeria as representatives of non-Caribbean New Englishes. The amount of American features employed varies by type of feature and country. In all Caribbean corpora, they are more prevalent in the lexicon than in spelling. With regard to grammar, an orientation toward a singular norm cannot be deduced from the data. While Caribbean journalists do partake in worldwide American-led changes such as colloquialization, as evident in the occurrence of contractions or the tendency to prefer that over which, the frequencies with which they do so align neither with American English nor with British English but often resemble those found in the Indian and Nigerian corpora. Contemporary Caribbean newspaper writing, thus, neither follows traditional British norms, nor is it characterized by massive linguistic Americanization; rather, there appears to be a certain conservatism common to New Englishes generally. We discuss these results in light of new considerations on normativity in English in the 21st century.

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