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Title: Portuguese Missionary Grammars in Asia, Africa and Brazil, 1550-1800
Written By: Otto Zwartjes
Series Title: Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 117

From the 16th century onwards, Europeans encountered languages in the
Americas, Africa, and Asia which were radically different from any of the
languages of the Old World. Missionaries were in the forefront of this
encounter: in order to speak to potential converts, they needed to learn local
languages. A great wealth of missionary grammars survives from the 16th
century onwards. Some of these are precious records of the languages they
document, and all of them witness their authors’ attempts to develop the
methods of grammatical description with which they were familiar, to
accommodate dramatically new linguistic features.This book is the first
monograph covering the whole Portuguese grammatical tradition outside
Portugal. Its aim is to provide an integrated description, analysis and
evaluation of the missionary grammars which were written in Portuguese.
Between them, these grammars covered a huge range of languages: in Asia,
Tamil, four Indo-Aryan languages and Japanese; in Brazil, Kipeá and
Tupinambá; in Africa and the African diaspora, Kimbundu and Sena (from the
modern Angola and Mozambique respectively).Each text is placed in its
historical context, and its linguistic context is analyzed, with particular
attention to orthography, the parts of speech system, morphology and
syntax. Whenever possible, pedagogical features of the grammars are
discussed, together with their treatment of language variation and pragmatics,
and the evidence they provide for the missionaries’ attitude towards the
languages they studied.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: John Benjamins
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Japanese
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9789027283252
Prices: U.S. $ 165.00
Europe EURO 110.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9789027246080
Prices: U.K. £ 110.00
Europe EURO 116.60
U.S. $ 165.00