Portrait of a Language in an Iowa Community
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Iowa Press
Series: Bur Oak Books
Title Page, Copyright
PREFACE to the PAPERBACK EDITION
TWO years before preparing this revision, I attended the one hundredth birthday celebration of the oldest speaker of Pella Dutch with whom I currently enjoy active contact. The centenarian regaled us with the singing, from memory, of favorite Dutch Psalms. A few guests commented that the texts were familiar and that their rendition was powerfully evocative of what they had heard in earlier years. Several embellished their birthday wishes...
THE purpose of this study is to present the fruits of close to a decade's research in which language was not merely a tool, but rather the thematic focus of investigation by a participant-observer into the life of one of Iowa's major ethnic communities. While I have thoroughly enjoyed the archival and historical research attendant...
PART ONE: The People
AT the time of the 1980 census, Iowa claimed the highest percentage of residents with Dutch ancestry (6.5 percent) of any state. True, a number of other states boast of older settlements, or of larger overall Dutch-American populations than Iowa's 188,357 residents with roots in the Netherlands. None, however, may point to as great a relative current impact by the Dutch on overall...
PART TWO: The Culture
WHILE many of the following recollections, observations, and excerpts from the historical record might as easily appear in an ethnographic monograph or even in a work of popular history (rather than in a strictly linguistic study), no section of this book is more important to an understanding of how Pella's Dutch-Americans have...
PART THREE: The Language
EVEN in a primarily sociolinguistic study, one must eventually address the question of just which form of a language is spoken in the community under investigation. Does Pella Dutch appear to have maintained any forms that have lost currency in the Netherlands, or to have witnessed the development of unusual or characteristic...
PART FOUR: Conclusion
WHILE the general process of linguistic acculturation to the dominant norm is a well-attested phenomenon in the history of America's countless ethnic enclaves, the specific details of the situation in Pella are unique and deserve to be recorded not only in lingustic literature, but also (and not least of all) in a manner that makes them accessible to members of that community who may someday...
Page Count: 196
Illustrations: 12 photos,1 map, 1 drawing, 5 tables
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Bur Oak Books
Series Editor Byline: Holly Carver See more Books in this Series
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Pella Dutch