Hieronder vindt u een overzicht van publicaties die (mede) tot stand zijn gekomen door medewerkers van het Meertens Instituut.

  • Language in the Mines

    Leonie Cornips, Pieter Muysken

    We have just published a special issue of the International Journal for the Sociology of Language on language use in the mines. Language use in mining poses a particular challenge, since mining creates very specific social ecological circumstances. The issue came out of a symposium comparing mining languages in Africa, South America, and North Western Europe, held at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

    The aim is to study the social practices and structural features of mining languages in a comparative perspective.. Factors involved in the unique social ecology of mining languages are labour shortages and recruiting strategies, rapid expansion and migration, the multi-ethnic composition of the workforce, and power hierarchies between unskilled and skilled workers. Gender and male bonding, concerns for danger and safety, special technology, job specialization, life underground as distinct from above ground, and non-verbal communication also play a role. The darkness of the mine makes explicit oral communication mandatory.

    There are often center-periphery dynamics between places where mines are exploited and power centers in the nation-state. Generally, the language underground is not that of the owners of the mines, but a lingua franca spoken by a large chunk of the workforce. Also, there is always special vocabulary and new words being formed.

    The focus in the volume is on three continents: Africa, South America, and northern Europe. Rajend Mesthrie describes the origin and evolving status of Fanakalo in the province of Gauteng, South Africa. It was recruited for the purposes of creating a mining language after 1867, which then was very widely spread. In recent years it has both been reviled and re-valued. Whereas Fanakalo has been invariably denigrated by intellectuals as a language of oppression rather than culture, there have been some surprising recent developments. Recently, Fanakalo has gained new force as the language preferred by the strikers for mass meetings and negotiations with management.

    Leonie Cornipsand Vincent de Rooij compare sociolinguistic and structural outcomes of language contact processes in two mining areas, namely the African Katanga region in the southeast of what is now the DR Congo and in Heerlen in the southeastern province of Limburg in the Netherlands. Both in Katanga and Heerlen, the resources were located in border regions peripheral to central seats of government. Similar social conditions of language contact were responsible for the genesis of the language varieties underground and above ground. These were characterized by the regularization of grammatical properties and the expansion of aspect marking.

    Discussing a mining area near the one explored by Cornips, Nantke Pecht investigates grammatical features of Cité Duits, a moribund in-group coalminers’ language spoken in the town of Eisden in Belgian Limburg. Certain features of Cité Duits are a fusion of Southern Dutch, German and the Maaslands dialect spoken in the area. Speakers produce forms and syntactic structures not found in one of the three contact varieties involved, suggesting a reallocated deployment of the grammatical system. Not only contact-, but also language-internal tendencies may play a role: speakers use linguistic resources in novel ways and develop “innovative structures” to mark semantic properties.

    In a nearby region, Stefania Marzo investigates the short and long-term effects of the language issues Italian mine workers families encountered when they arrived in Belgian Limburg (Flanders). The complex linguistic integration of the first-generation migrants was picked up and further developed by the new generations and transmitted in young peoples’ meta-reflections on their actual hybrid linguistic practices. The study corroborates universal characteristics of mining jargons and opens new perspectives on the study of linguistic and social long-term effects of these varieties.

    Shifting to South America, Pieter Muysken charts the multilingual setting of the silver mines in colonial Potosí, Bolivia, and the complex relations between Spanish and the two main indigenous languages Quechua and Aymara in the mining languages. The main source used is a mining vocabulary from 1610, which contains terms both in Spanish and in the indigenous languages Quechua and Aymara.

    Finally, Laura Álvarez López turns to Brazil, analyzing specific vocabulary, possibly the remains of a mining language spoken by descendants of Africans. She analyzes 149 lexical items registered in the 1920s in a rural region of Minas Gerais, near the city of Diamantina. The distribution of the lexical items in different semantic domains and word classes indicates that the language of the enslaved Africans, Umbundu, maintained a high status in the area, and that this variety was not limited to mining activities, but was probably used in everyday life as a secret code.

    The current issue hopes to contribute to a broader perspective on the way specific social practices constitute ecologies in which specific linguistic practices emerge. Here the case presented was mining, but related topics would include tunneling and the oil industry. Of course, there is a large tradition in pidgin and creole studies to link specific economic activities to linguistic practices such as the emergence of specific kinds of pidgins, but the potential scope of this line of enquiry is much wider.

  • The Miracle of Amsterdam Biography of a Contested Devotion

    Charles Caspers & Peter Jan Margry

    The Miracle of Amsterdam presents a “cultural biography” of a Dutch devotional manifestation. According to tradition, on the night of March 15, 1345, a Eucharistic host thrown into a burning fireplace was found intact hours later. A chapel was erected over the spot, and the citizens of Amsterdam became devoted to their “Holy Stead.” From the original Eucharistic processions evolved the custom of individual devotees walking around the chapel while praying in silence, and the growing international pilgrimage site contributed to the rise and prosperity of Amsterdam. 

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  • Syntax of Dutch Coordination and Ellipsis

    Hans Broekhuis, Norbert Corver

    The multi-volume work Syntax of Dutch presents a synthesis of current thinking on Dutch syntax. The text of the seven already available volumes was written between 1995 and 2015 and issued in print between 2012 and 2016. The various volumes are primarily concerned with the description of the Dutch language and, only where this is relevant, with linguistic theory. They will be an indispensable resource for researchers and advanced students of languages and linguistics interested in the Dutch language.

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  • Een mooie mengelmoes Meertaligheid in de Gouden Eeuw

    Marc van Oostendorp, Nicoline van der sijs

    Taal was belangrijk in de Gouden Eeuw. Schrijvers, dichters, taalgeleerden en journalisten legden zelfbewust de basis voor wat het Standaardnederlands zou worden, een taal waarop iedereen even trots leek te zijn als op de nieuwe Republiek. Tegelijkertijd openden de Lage Landen zich voor de rest van de wereld, onder andere door de handel en het vroege kolonialisme, maar ook door belangstelling voor de ‘nieuwe’ kunsten uit Italië en Frankrijk. Bovendien kwamen door de grote welvaart heel veel migranten uit binnen- en buitenland naar Amsterdam.

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  • Wederopbouwboerderijen Agrarisch erfgoed in de strijd over traditie en modernisering, 1940-1955

    Sophie Elpers

    Wederopbouwboerderijen, agrarisch erfgoed in de strijd over traditie en modernisering, 1940 - 1955 van Sophie Elpers verschijnt in december 2018. Het boek is gebaseerd op het promotieonderzoek van Elpers aan het Meertens Instituut en de UVA en biedt een publiekstoegankelijk overzicht van de wederopbouw op het platteland.

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  • A Contrastive Grammar of Brazilian Pomeranian

    Gertjan Postma

    Pomeranian is the West Germanic language spoken by European emigrants who went from Farther Pomerania (present-day Poland) to Brazil in the period 1857–1887. This language is no longer spoken in cohesive societies in Europe, but the language has survived and is in remarkably good shape on this language island in the tropical state of Espirito Santo. This monograph offers the first synchronic grammar of this language. 

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  • U als scheldwoord En andere taalverschijnselen

    Marc van Oostendorp

    De Nederlandse taal verandert voortdurend. Nieuwe woorden komen, oude uitdrukkingen gaan; er is altijd wel wat aan de hand. Marc van Oostendorp staat iedere morgen op om vol verbazing te zien wat er nu weer bijgekomen is en wat er is afgegaan: ineens worden alom spreekwoorden afgekort, bijvoorbeeld tot ‘een gevalletje aap-mouw’, ineens blijkt iedereen alstu te zingen als antwoord op ‘dank u’, en ineens worden veel Twitter-conversaties geopend met ‘ok, draadje’. Maar er is meer om je over te verwonderen. Is ‘mwah’ het nieuwe ‘tsja’? Hoezo klinkt ‘deze’ deftiger dan ‘die’? Waar komt de s vandaan in ‘veels te goed’? Wat is het verschil tussen een kutding en een kut ding

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  • The Fascination with Inner Eurasian Languages in the 17th Century The Amsterdam mayor Nicolaas Witsen and his collection of ‘Tartarian’ glossaries and scripts

    Bruno Naarden, Tom van Brederode, Tjeerd de Graaf, Wim Honselaar, Janine Jager, Cecilia Odé, Lisa van Schaik & Nicoline van der Sijs (eds.)

    This book contains a number of studies on the language samples in Nicolaas Witsen’s North and East Tartary – glossaries, short texts (translations of the Lord’s Prayer), writing systems and other data. Most of the contributions are new and were written by specialists in the relevant languages, such as the languages of the Caucasus, Samoyed languages, Finno-Ugric languages, Mongolic languages, Turkic and Tungusic languages. 

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  • Sense and Essence Heritage and the Cultural Production of the Real

    Birgit Meyer & Mattijs van de Port (eds.)

    Contrary to popular perceptions, cultural heritage is not given, but constantly in the making: a construction subject to dynamic processes of (re)inventing culture within particular social formations and bound to particular forms of mediation. Yet the appeal of cultural heritage often rests on its denial of being a fabrication, its promise to provide an essential ground to social-cultural identities. Taking this paradoxical feature as a point of departure, and anchoring the discussion to two heuristic concepts—the "politics of authentication" and "aesthetics of persuasion"—the chapters herein explore how this tension is central to the dynamics of heritage formation worldwide.

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  • The Sociolinguistics of Place and Belonging Perspectives from the margins

    Leonie Cornips, Vincent de Rooij

    This volume shows the relevance of the concepts of ‘place’ and ‘belonging’ for understanding the dynamics of identification through language. It also opens up a new terrain for sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological study, namely the margins. Rural, as well as urbanized areas that are seen as marginal or peripheral to places that are overtly recognized as mixed and hybridized have received relatively little sociolinguistic attention. 

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