End of ADS-L Digest - 11 Apr 1996 to 12 Apr 1996 ************************************************ There are 3 messages totalling 161 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Perhaps of Interest 2. Request for help on divergency (2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 14 Apr 1996 11:29:04 -0500 From: Natalie Maynor Subject: Perhaps of Interest I wrote him back asking if it was ok for me to forward this note to ADS-L. He said yes. > Date: Sat, 13 Apr 96 20:45:12 PDT > From: Duane Campbell > Subject: Pool talk > To: maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ra.msstate.edu > > Thank God for the Internet and Alta Vista. Where else could one find a group > of people interested in dialect. > > I live in a small town (Towanda, population 4,000) in a rural county > (population 60,000) in the hill country of Northeastern Pennsylvania. In this > area lives an extended family, perhaps 3,000 in number, with an ancient and > well documented history. Excepting modern emigration, most have lived within a > five mile radius for over two hundred years. > > Although they were among the very first settlers in this area, because of > their strange history they were socially isolated. They developed their own > dialect. To the best of my knowledge, it has never been either studied or > recorded. > > I have seen documentaries of the much studied Gullah dialect. I have no > difficulty understanding it. But though I grew up here and attended school > with Pools from kindergarten through high school, I cannot understand "Pool > talk" in its pure form. > > I would guess there are no more than a score of elderly people who speak Pool > talk as a primary language. There may be a hundred who can speak it if > pressed. Though many Pools still have a recognizable accent, the dialect is > nearly dead. > > I have tried to interest folklorists at Mansfield University (Mansfield PA) in > making field recordings at least, but there has not been a whole lot of > excitement. Don't they have any idle grad students? > > This is a small language pocket, but it is unique. Within a very few > years the last speaker will die and the dialect will pass. Is there anyone in > your organization who might be interested? > > If you are still reading, let me briefly tell you something about the Pools > and the genesis of their language. > > After over two hundred years, there are still only two major family names: > Johnson and Vanderpool, hence Pool. (This is a derogative term, but I use it > because there is no PC equivalent.) There are half a dozen minor septs, > but if your name is Strope or Chilson, you can get along in this county. If > you are a Vanderpoole or Johnson, your life is considerably more difficult. > This clan was an under class before the term became popular. > > Both families certainly started well. The progenitors of the clan were Sir > William Johnson and Anthony Vanderpool. > > Johnson lived in upstate New York, where he befriended the local Indians. In > fact, he befriended a lot of them, mostly female. He fathered several children > with the sister of Joseph Brandt, the famous Iroquois chief during the > Revolutionary war, and many more with other native wives. Johnson was a Major > General during the French and Indian War and was knighted for his performance. > > Anthony Vanderpool was the scion of a well established Hudson River valley > family. (President Van Buren was married to his niece.) He married a daughter > of Sir William. > > Eventually both were ostracized by their families and wandered, with their > extensive tribe, into the post-Revolutionary wildnerness of Bradford County. > Here they met with royalist French, who had purchased several thousand acres > and were establishing an asylum for the monarchy (a story of some repute > locally) and with their minimal contingent of slaves. > > So the Pools are mostly English, Dutch, and Indian (Iroquois and Mohawk) with > a smattering of French and Black. An interesting linguistic mix. And that > linguistic mix, because of their social isolation, has persisted into the > present times. But not much longer. > > This is worthy of study. Or at least of recording, so that someone might study > it later. > > I tried to access the ADS home page, but, whether my system or yours, I got > nothing. If you would like more information, I would be happy to supply it. > > I really do hope that someone would be interested in this. I do not have the > credentials to do it myself. > > ------------------------------------- > Duane Campbell > dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]epix.net > > In the beginning the Earth was without form and void. > Why didn't they leave well enough alone? >