And he knew our language: Missionary Linguistics on the by Marcus Tomalin

By Marcus Tomalin

This formidable and ground-breaking booklet examines the linguistic reports produced by means of missionaries according to the Pacific Northwest Coast of North the USA (and really Haida Gwaii) in the course of the past due 19th and early 20th centuries. Making huge use of unpublished archival fabrics, the writer demonstrates that the missionaries have been answerable for introducing many leading edge and insightful grammatical analyses. instead of in basic terms adopting Graeco-Roman versions, they drew generally upon reports of non-European languages, and a cautious exploration in their scripture translations show the origins of the Haida sociolect that emerged end result of the missionary task. The complicated interactions among the missionaries and anthropologists also are mentioned, and it really is proven that the previous occasionally expected linguistic analyses which are now incorrectly attributed to the latter. due to the fact this ebook attracts upon fresh paintings in theoretical linguistics, spiritual background, translation stories, and anthropology, it emphasises the inevitably interdisciplinary nature of Missionary Linguistics examine.

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Extra resources for And he knew our language: Missionary Linguistics on the Pacific Northwest Coast

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From 1975 to 1985, a range of new analyses were proposed, and it was during this crucial decade that John Enrico began to make his work on Haida more widely available. a. Daxhiigang). 10 Over the past twenty-five years, Enrico's work on Haida has addressed a remarkably broad range of topics, and he has repeatedly revised and modified approaches that had been suggested by other researchers. For instance, he took Edwards' and Eastman's ideas concerning topicalisation and word order as a starting point for his 1986 article on 'Word Order, Focus, and Topic in Haida'.

Also, in 1708, a letter was published in The Month~v Miscellany or Memoirs for the Curious which purported to describe a voyage by a Spanish admiral called 'Bartholomew de Fonte' that had been undertaken in 1640. Although it is now generally accepted that this voyage never occurred and that the letter is in fact a droll spoof, some of the physical descriptions and names are eerily reminiscent of specific locations on Haida Gwaii, and certainly several noted 18th-century explorers, and their patrons, believed that the letter proved the existence of a passage to the Pacific (White 2006; Mathes 1999).

The name 'Gwaii Haanas' is an unfortunate one, when viewed from a purely linguistic perspective. It is supposed to mean "Islands of Beauty", but, in Haida, the verb haana ("to be handsome") cannot be applied to islands or to places in general, therefore the name of the park is grammatically incorrect. For a detailed discussion of this, see Enrico (2005: 1736). Chapter 2. Culture and contact century. 4 At certain times, Haida Gwaii has been called 'Santa Margari~ 'Great Island: and 'The Washington Islands~ and no doubt there have been many other names which were never recorded and which therefore have subsequently been forgotten.

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