Keeping in Touch

Emigrant letters across the English-speaking world

ORCID logoRaymond Hickey | University of Duisburg and Essen
ISBN 9789027204479 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027261885 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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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
“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”
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2024. Exploring past and present layers of multilingualism in Flemish-emigrant writing. In Investigating West Germanic Languages [Studies in Germanic Linguistics, 8],  pp. 276 ff. DOI logo
Drinka, Bridget & Whitney Chappell
2021. New perspectives on Spanish socio-historical linguistics. In Spanish Socio-Historical Linguistics [Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics, 12],  pp. 2 ff. DOI logo
Haataja, Daniel & Leena Niiranen
2023. Letters to the Paulaharjus from Ruija: The emergence of two writing cultures in Finnish among Kvens in the early twentieth century. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 46:2  pp. 215 ff. DOI 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. DOI logo
Kostadinova, Viktorija, Marco Wiemann, Gea Dreschler, Sune Gregersen, Beáta Gyuris, Ai Zhong, Maggie Scott, Lieselotte Anderwald, Beke Hansen, Sven Leuckert, Tihana Kraš, Shawnea Sum Pok Ting, Ida Parise Alessia Cogo, Elisabeth Reber & Furzeen Ahmed
2021. I English Language. The Year's Work in English Studies 100:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
McCafferty, Kevin & Carolina P. Amador-Moreno
2023. Emigrant Letters from Ireland. In The Oxford Handbook of Irish English,  pp. 314 ff. DOI logo
Ávila-Ledesma, Nancy E.
2024. “I Thought you had Forgotten me”: A Corpus-Pragmatic Examination of the Mental Verb Think in Irish Emigrants’ Letters. Corpus Pragmatics 8:1  pp. 77 ff. DOI logo
Ávila-Ledesma, Nancy E. & Carolina P. Amador-Moreno
2023.  ‘The seas was like mountains’: intra-writer variation and social mobility in Irish emigrant letters. Journal of Historical Sociolinguistics 9:2  pp. 243 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2021. Publications Received. Language in Society 50:1  pp. 169 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 may 2024. 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.


Main BIC Subject

CFF: Historical & comparative linguistics

Main 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