Tag Archives: Negerhollands


Only a few weeks ago Delpher.nl was brought under my attention. It is a new search engine which searches all books, newspapers (from the seventeenth century on) and magazines stored in the Royal Dutch Library.

A link can be found in the Recent Publications header. Click on ‘Delpher’ to see an example.


Morphology Meeting 2013, Contribution by Robbert van Sluijs

Morphology Meeting 2013


Friday, December 13th, 2013 the Morphology Meeting (de Morfologiedagen) will be held at the Fryske Akademy in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.

The Fryske Akademy, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year, will host this edition of the Morphology Meeting (de Morfologiedagen).

The conference provides a forum for scientific debate about all possible aspects of especially Dutch and Frisian morphology. The working languages will be Dutch and English.

The day program you can find here.

You can subscribe here.

For more information: Eric Hoekstra ehoekstra@fryske-akademy.nl


Contribution by Robbert van Sluijs (Radboud University Nijmegen):

Past time reference marking in Negerhollands 
Robbert van Sluijs (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
Negerhollands is an overseas, creole variety of South-Western coastal Dutch (West- Flemish, Zealandic), that was spoken on the former Danish West Indies, the current US Virgin Islands. A typical Caribbean creole feature is the occurrence of both overt and zero pasts, attested in Negerhollands too (Graves 1977, Van Diggelen 1978, Stolz 1986, Sabino 1986, Bruyn & Veenstra 1993). The morphological expression of past time reference in NH is preverbal (h)a, but the bare verb is used as a past tense as well. Quantitative variationist studies in a number of English-lexified creoles have shown that this variation is not random. Following up on these results, in this paper I investigate the impact of factors such as narrative discourse function, aspect, and syntactic priming on the expression of past time reference in 20th century Negerhollands through a quantitative variationist study of De Josselin de Jong’s (1926) Negerhollands data collection. The results show that the factors conditioning past time reference marking in Negerhollands resemble those in other creole languages, but with an entirely different outcome: Whereas other creoles typically use zero pasts, Negerhollands typically uses overt pasts, even surpassing Standard English in its overt past rate in narratives. Assuming that Negerhollands overt past rate used to be more similar to that of other creoles, the overgeneralization of overt pasts in perfective situations is best interpreted as an effect of language death.


The only page left of Nelson’s notebook

Review Robin Sabino’s Language Contact in the Danish West Indies, by Bettina Migge.

In this months issue of Language in Society (42, 5 (2013), pp. 579-585) Bettina Migge reviewed Robin Sabino’s Language Contact in the Danish West Indies: “This study of the history of VIDC is not only of interest to researchers interested in Dutch creoles. It is a fine demonstration of how careful cross-disciplinary research can provide invaluable insights into the conditions, processes, and outcomes of language-contact situations past and present.”

Please use Sabino’s book, not only because of the very interesting content of the work istself, but also because of the unique dictionary of the last stage of Negerhollands and the several hundreds of recordings of Mrs. Alice Stevens which are made digitally available.

Cefas van Rossem

New Negerhollands manuscripts!

In 2008 the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) obtained 18 notebooks with texts of Johann Böhner, the most important eighteenth century translator of Negerhollands liturgical texts.  These manuscripts  are probably copies made shortly before 1940. I hope to study these texts in a few weeks.