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

By Marcus Tomalin

This bold and ground-breaking booklet examines the linguistic reviews produced by way of missionaries in accordance with the Pacific Northwest Coast of North the US (and relatively Haida Gwaii) in the course of the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. Making broad use of unpublished archival fabrics, the writer demonstrates that the missionaries have been chargeable for introducing many leading edge and insightful grammatical analyses. instead of purely adopting Graeco-Roman versions, they drew greatly upon experiences of non-European languages, and a cautious exploration in their scripture translations display the origins of the Haida sociolect that emerged as a result missionary task. The advanced interactions among the missionaries and anthropologists also are mentioned, and it's proven that the previous occasionally expected linguistic analyses which are now incorrectly attributed to the latter. when you consider that this e-book attracts upon contemporary paintings in theoretical linguistics, non secular historical past, translation reviews, and anthropology, it emphasises the inevitably interdisciplinary nature of Missionary Linguistics examine.

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33 34 Missionary Linguistics on the Pacific Northwest Coast characteristic features of the pre-contact period can be hypothetically reconstructed (Carlson 1983: 22-23). Like other communities along the Pacific coast, the Haidas may have originally migrated from the interior, and swiftly adapting to the maritime environment in which they found themselves, they adopted a seasonallifestyle which enabled them to make the most e:ffuctive use of the available material resources. No doubt partly as a result of this, they developed a distinctive and complex social organisation that involved elaborate rituals, such as the potlatch (a ceremonial distribution of gifts), which often marked rites-of-passage and significant events in the history of their communities.

By contrast, the HBC benefited greatly from the new opportunities. Having received its royal charter from Charles II in 1670, it had established itself in North America during the 18th century, and, in 1821, it merged with the North West Company of Montreal, which meant that it now had access to territory which reached to the Arctic Ocean in the north and to the Pacific Ocean in the west. 8 Consequently, the fur trade proved to be a profitable business, and it certainly brought a wide-range of visitors to the Pacific Northwest Coast, both by sea and by land.

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'. After presenting a brief overview of previous analyses, he rejects the claim that Haida should be classified as being fundamentally an OSV language.

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