St Helenian English: Origins, evolution and variation

St Helenian English: Origins, evolution and variation

by Daniel Schreier
     
 

This volume provides the first-ever sociolinguistic analysis of English on the island of St Helena, the oldest variety of English in the Southern Hemisphere. It is based on a concise synchronic profile of the variety (describing its segmental phonology and morphosyntax) and an evaluation of diachronic material in the form of letters, court cases, ghost stories, etc.… See more details below

Overview

This volume provides the first-ever sociolinguistic analysis of English on the island of St Helena, the oldest variety of English in the Southern Hemisphere. It is based on a concise synchronic profile of the variety (describing its segmental phonology and morphosyntax) and an evaluation of diachronic material in the form of letters, court cases, ghost stories, etc. The analysis is embedded into a theoretical framework of contact linguistics (contact dialectology and pidgin/creole linguistics) and builds upon the social and sociodemographic development of the community. The aims of this book are to trace the origins and evolution of the variety, to pinpoint the forms of English it affiliates with today and the inputs it derived from historically and to investigate whether local contact scenarios have led to the formation of regionally distinctive varieties across the island. Insights from St Helenian English thus challenge us to rethink principles of classification that are applied to determine the status of post-colonial varieties of English.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Christian Mair
This is a study which offers an empirically rich description of a lesser known variety of English and which integrates this description with current theoretical debates in dialectology and contact linguistics. It is this a welcome addition to the prestigious Varieties of English around the World series.
Salikoko S. Mufwene
This is a precious book that everybody interested in the differential evolution of English around the world since the 17th century will need to read. It provides lots of useful information on the colonization, including peopling, of St. Helena that influenced the emergence of the local English variety. With this contribution to the big picture, Daniel Schreier sheds light on the family resemblance character of (post-)colonial Englishes, making it obvious that each colony was a unique ecology of human interactions and language contacts which differed from other colonies while resembling them in a number of ways and to differing extents. Whether or not St. Helenian English should be called a creole is apparently a question that cannot be usefully answered independent of the ideological biases of individual scholars. This book is impressively well documented socially and linguistically and provides incisive analyses by a critical and sharp thinker.
Stefan Dollinger
Schreier's book is both an inspiring sociolinguistic history and an effective case study that stimulates reflection on sociohistorical methodologies.
Rajend Mesthrie
A sparkling study of a lesser-known variety of English, from the viewpoints of contact linguistics and the social history of the island of St Helena. Daniel Schreier’s meticulous empirical work and his mastery of the literature on koinés and creoles combine to provide a study for linguists to savour. This is a welcome addition to, and advance of, the field of language contact.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789027248978
Publisher:
Benjamins, John Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/17/2008
Series:
Varieties of English Around the World Series
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >