‘Sometime is lies’

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We compare Pitkern-Norf’k and Palmerston narratives to each other and to narrative construction in other more well-known English dialects. This will demonstrate that narratives of these two beach community languages differ from the latter in many parallel ways. We discuss the narrative types ‘historical stories’ and ‘tall tales’ taken from the historical record and from our own fieldwork on Palmerston Island and Norfolk Island. Stories the islanders tell about themselves and their history will be the main focus as these illustrate the islanders’ conception of their identity. Pertinent questions of historicity arise when multiple conflicting accounts of an event exist, or when the islanders’ own oral histories differ from the information in the European colonial record.


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