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Book Information


Title: “And he knew our language”
Subtitle: Missionary Linguistics on the Pacific Northwest Coast
Written By: Marcus Tomalin
Series Title: Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 116

This ambitious and ground-breaking book examines the linguistic studies
produced by missionaries based on the Pacific Northwest Coast of North
America (and particularly Haida Gwaii) during the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. Making extensive use of unpublished archival materials,
the author demonstrates that the missionaries were responsible for
introducing many innovative and insightful grammatical analyses. Rather than
merely adopting Graeco-Roman models, they drew extensively upon studies
of non-European languages, and a careful exploration of their scripture
translations reveal the origins of the Haida sociolect that emerged as a
result of the missionary activity. The complex interactions between the
missionaries and anthropologists are also discussed, and it is shown that the
former sometimes anticipated linguistic analyses that are now incorrectly
attributed to the latter. Since this book draws upon recent work in
theoretical linguistics, religious history, translation studies, and
anthropology, it emphasises the unavoidably interdisciplinary nature of
Missionary Linguistics research.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: John Benjamins
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Translation
History of Linguistics
Anthropological Linguistics
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9789027286833
Prices: Europe EURO 105.00
U.S. $ 158.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9789027246073
Prices: U.K. £ 105.00
U.S. $ 158.00
Europe EURO 111.30