Keeping in Touch

Emigrant letters across the English-speaking world

| University of Duisburg and Essen
ISBN 9789027204479 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027261885 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
The current volume presents a number of chapters which look at informal vernacular letters, written mostly by emigrants to the former colonies of Britain, who settled at these locations in the past few centuries, with a focus on letters from the nineteenth century. Such documents often show features for varieties of English which do not necessarily appear in later sources or which are not attested with the same range or in the same set of grammatical contexts. This has to do with the vernacular nature of the letters, i.e. they were written by speakers who had a lower level of education and whose speech, and hence their written form of language, does not appear to have been guided by considerations of standardness and conformity to external norms of language. Furthermore, the writers of the emigrant letters, examined in the current volume, were very unlikely to have known of, still less have used, manuals of letter writing. Emigrant letters thus provide a valuable source of data in tracing the possible development of features in varieties of English in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
[Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics, 10]  2019.  x, 289 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of contributors
Chapter 1. Mining emigrant correspondence for linguistic insights
Raymond Hickey
Part I. The language of emigrant correspondence
Chapter 2. Wisconsin immigrant letters: German transfer to Wisconsin English
Angela Bagwell, Samantha Litty and Mike Olson
Chapter 3. ‘I hope you will excuse my bad writing’: Shall vs. will in the 1830s Petworth Emigration to Canada Corpus (PECC)
Stefan Dollinger
Chapter 4. Singular, plural, or collective? Grammatical flexibility and the definition of identity in the correspondence of nineteenth-century Scottish emigrants
Marina Dossena
Part II. The language of the Irish emigrant experience
Chapter 5. Homesickness, recollections and reunions: Topics and emotions in a corpus of female Irish emigrant correspondence
Emma Moreton and Chris Culy
Chapter 6. ‘I have not time to say more at present’: Negating lexical have in Irish English
Kevin McCafferty
Chapter 7. ‘Matt & Mrs Connor is with me now. They are only beginning to learn the work of the camp’: Irish emigrants writing from Argentina
Carolina P. Amador-Moreno
Chapter 8. Grammatical variation in nineteenth-century Irish Australian letters
Raymond Hickey
Chapter 9. ‘[S]eas may divide and oceans roll between but Friends is Friends whatever intervene’: Emigrant letters in New Zealand
Dania Jovanna Bonness
Part III. Vernacular correspondence
Chapter 10. ‘[T]his is all answer soon’: African American vernacular letters from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
Lucia Siebers
Chapter 11. Morphosyntactic features in earlier African American English: A qualitative assessment of semi-literate letters
Alexander Kautzsch
Chapter 12. Memoirs from Central America: A linguistic analysis of personal recollections of West Indian laborers in the construction of the Panama Canal
Stephanie Hackert
“In a nutshell, each part of the book has unequivocal key points, which proceeds in an orderly way to lead readers to explore the English language variation in emigrant correspondence”
Cited by

Cited by 3 other publications

No author info given
2021. Publications Received. Language in Society 50:1  pp. 169 ff. Crossref logo
Drinka, Bridget & Whitney Chappell
2021.  In Spanish Socio-Historical Linguistics [Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics, 12],  pp. 2 ff. Crossref logo
Hickey, Raymond
2020. Review of Amador Moreno, Carolina P. 2019. Orality in Written Texts: Using Historical Corpora to Investigate Irish English (1700−1900). London: Routledge. ISBN: 978-1-138-80234-6. Research in Corpus Linguistics 8  pp. 201 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 27 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFF – Historical & comparative linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009010 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Historical & Comparative
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2019036910 | Marc record