In 2001 Sebastian Adorján Dyhr wrote his M.A. thesis ‘Grammatik over det creolske sprog’ af Joachim Melchior Magens I en lingvistisk og historisk kontekst (Aarhus Univeritet, supervisor: Peter Bakker). This thesis is an extensive description of this first published Creole Grammar and its author. I am very grateful to Dyhr for giving permission to make it available on my website.
Not only his description of the grammar is of interest. Dyhr discovered the original ‘Magens’ letter which was published by Schuchardt and commented on by Hesseling in Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde (1914). This letter is the only example of Virgin Islands Dutch Creole from the end of the nineteenth century, a period in which this language was thought to have been extinct. This appendix is however only available on request.
The thesis can be found on the Scanned publications page
I’m looking forward to this. I started to gather the words from Magens’ grammar for a Negerhollands dictionary not long ago. The letter will be useful if it has the diacritic marcs. I would also like to see the handwriting.
He read ‘Syffie’ for ‘Syssie’. It’s ‘Suschi’ in Oldendorp’s spelling.
The problem of the ‘long s’ did not start with the first scans. Thanks for recognizing it!
If you happen to know the short title on the spine of Magen’s grammar please tell me. I know in the ninetineth century short titles often consisted of the Autors name, a comma, the first part of the full title and than a full stop.
Sorry, Jabnaki, but I only worked with digital copies! We did not have a hardcopy in our library.
You’re welcome. I am trying to translate the grammar into contemporary german. I don’t know if I will do the whole thing. And I can look for the short title later. So don’t worry.
I ordered photocopies of the binding and found something hilarious. Somebody mistook “Mand” for the author’s name. Not the whole title can be read but I’m sure for this word. I’m preparing an edition in eighteenth century’s German and have translated a gread deal already. For me it looks a bit old fashioned so I decided on an orthography which would be used in the middle of the century. I’m very glad that many expressions and words where similar in Danish and German.