St Helenian English
Origins, evolution and variation
Daniel Schreier | University of Zurich
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.
[Varieties of English Around the World, G37] 2008. xv, 312 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction | pp. 1–8
Chapter 2. How St Helenian English could have formed: Principles of contact linguistics | pp. 9–66
Chapter 3. Historical, sociodemographic and sociolinguistic background | pp. 67–121
Chapter 4. Evidence of earlier St Helenian English | pp. 123–158
Chapter 5. Synchrony I: A descriptive profile of 20th century St Helenian English | pp. 159–201
Chapter 6. Synchrony II. A variationist analysis of 20th century St Helenian English | pp. 203–221
Chapter 7. Summary and conclusion | pp. 223–253
Appendices | pp. 255–286
Index | pp. 305–312
“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.”
Christian Mair, University of Freiburg, in Diachronica Vol. 27:1, 2010
“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.”
Salikoko S. Mufwene, University of Chicago
“Schreier's book is both an inspiring sociolinguistic history and an effective case study that stimulates reflection on sociohistorical methodologies.”
Stefan Dollinger, University of British Columbia at Vancouver, on Linguist List 20.2557, 2009
“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.”
Rajend Mesthrie, University of Cape Town
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2014. On cafeterias and new dialects. In The Evolution of Englishes [Varieties of English Around the World, G49], ► pp. 231 ff.
2017. Hendery. 2015. One Man Is an Island. The Speech Community William Marsters Begat on Palmerston Island. English World-Wide. A Journal of Varieties of English 38:1 ► pp. 110 ff.
2018. Robert McColl Millar. 2016. Contact. The Interaction of Closely Related Linguistic Varieties and the History of English . English World-Wide. A Journal of Varieties of English 39:1 ► pp. 122 ff.
2019. /h/ insertion as a ‘camouflage archaism’?. Diachronica 36:1 ► pp. 37 ff.
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Tuten, Donald N.
2021. Complexification of the early modern Spanish address system: A role for koineization?. In Spanish Socio-Historical Linguistics [Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics, 12], ► pp. 18 ff.
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2014. New-dialect formation in medieval Ireland. In Contact, Variation, and Change in the History of English [Studies in Language Companion Series, 159], ► pp. 213 ff.
Zullo, Davide, Simone E. Pfenninger & Daniel Schreier
[no author supplied]
[no author supplied]
[no author supplied]
2021. Bermudian English [Varieties of English Around the World, G64],
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 7 may 2023. 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
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number: 2008031634 | Marc record