Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 18:03:54 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: Gullah Bible In Message Tue, 3 Jan 1995 09:07:29 EST, Wayne Glowka 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." > > ... Has >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, Sali. Salikoko S. Mufwene University of Chicago Dept. of Linguistics 1010 East 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531; fax: 312-702-9861