A Contrastive Grammar of Brazilian Pomeranian

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  • Author(s): Gertjan Postma 1
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    Affiliations: 1: Meertens Institute Amsterdam
  • Format: PDF, EPUB
  • Publication Date March 2019
  • e-Book ISBN: 9789027263537
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/la.248


Pomeranian is the West Germanic language spoken by European emigrants who went from Farther Pomerania (present-day Poland) to Brazil in the period 1857–1887. This language is no longer spoken in cohesive societies in Europe, but the language has survived and is in remarkably good shape on this language island in the tropical state of Espirito Santo. This monograph offers the first synchronic grammar of this language. After a historical introduction, the book offers a systematic description of its phonology, morphology and syntax. The language is contrasted with its European sisters, more particularly High German, Dutch, and Frisian. It highlights various phenomena that will presumably contribute to the ongoing theoretical debate on the Germanic verbal system. It provides new data on cluster V2, do-support, and the two infinitives. As to the infinitival syntax, the language shows remarkable parallels to the system of Frisian. As to the rich Pomeranian system of subtractive morphology, the phonological account that is offered, will be important for the ongoing discussion of the abstractness of phonological representations. Finally, Pomeranian is a welcome addition to the set of languages on which our etymological understanding of West Germanic is based.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Generative linguistics; Historical linguistics; Syntax; Germanic linguistics


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