Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 18:03:54 CST
From: salikoko mufwene mufw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Subject: Re: Gullah Bible
In Message Tue, 3 Jan 1995 09:07:29 EST,
Wayne Glowka wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]gc3.GAC.PeachNet.EDU writes:
I saw a notice for the "first complete book of
the Bible" printed in Gullah by the American Bible Society. ...
"De Good Nyews Bout Jedus Christ Wa Luke Write."
anyone seen this Bible? How authentic is its Gullah? I have been very shy
in regard to examples of Gullah ever since I heard Sali speak about
unauthentic Gullah some twelve or thirteen years ago.
Boy! I did not realize it's been that long! I have a copy of the Gullah
Bible. Its text competes well with the aclaimed renditions of Gullah by
Ambrose Gonzales, whom Pat Sharpe holds in high esteem, and recent writers
such as Virginia Geraty in Charleston, S.C. The latter has actually been a
consultant to the project. What makes this one very interesting is that it
has involved educated native speakers such as Ron Daise and Reverend Ervin
Greene. There are the usual problems of adjusting a spoken variety to a
written medium, regularizing some structural options, but nothing that makes
this Gullah unauthentic. It should be a good research resource for tracking
grammatical constructions: how they compare with texts collected from
spontaneous speech. There also arises the problem of how much eye dialect is
allowed to distort without creating a fiction of its own, but this is not a
problem peculiar to this Bible translation. Actually, Wayne, you may be
pleased to know that on every page the original English text (that from
which the translation was made) is given in a small column and typesetting.
I should have examined the work more carefully, but I feel safe in stating
the above comments.
Happy new year,
Salikoko S. Mufwene
University of Chicago
Dept. of Linguistics
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uchicago.edu
312-702-8531; fax: 312-702-9861