Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 18:31:53 -0500
From: "Peter L. Patrick" PPATRICK[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GUVAX.BITNET
Subject: Re: Gullah Bible
thanks for your comments relating the (recent?) publishing of
bible translations into vernacular and esp. pidgin/creole languages BY
native speakers of them, for their own ends. I hadn't thought of them
in that light (though I have heard of "postcolonial lx" before).
However, I'm not sure the "lx" part of the label applies here.
Apart from the Gullah Bible, which Sali comments seems to be pretty
authentic, one of the striking things about the Jamaican and what I've
heard about the Black Bible Chronicles is how they differ from the
vernacular speech that speakers speak and linguists know. I get the
feeling that even though these folks are in some sense validating the
variety by publishing important stuff in it, they're still very
reluctant to see it as linguists do, and very prone to dress it up or
Anglicize/standardize it-- while celebrating its "difference"!
This ambivalence is a very familiar, and very understandable,
attitude in a post-colonial society, but it also reveals the very
same confusion of social values with linguistic structure, the
acceptance of a non-arbitrary (even "natural") relationship between
them, that members of dominant groups show-- and which is perhaps
the main target of sociolinguistics. So though the translators of
these efforts are doing something good, and progressive, I think
there's still an essential point they're missing, which only linguists
seem to be teaching.