Cefas Van Rossem

Cefas Van Rossem
Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen | KNAW · Meertens Institute

PhD
Guest researcher, Meertens Institute, Teacher Dutch Language, Olympus College, Teacher in Residence, Radboud University

About

49
Publications
3,775
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71
Citations
Introduction
At the moment I study early eighteenth century Virgin Islands Dutch Creole texts.I focus on the filology and relate that to the audience of texts and (poly)grammaticalization of, for instance, pronouns. New corpora of sailing letters open doors to compare early informal Dutch to (Caribbean) Dutch Creole languages. More info? Website: https://diecreoltaal.com/ Podcast (Dutch): Di hou creol, https://www.buzzsprout.com/1764983
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Conservation of Virgin Islands Dutch Creole texts
January 2012 - December 2017
Radboud University
Position
  • PhD Student
October 2001 - present
Olympus College
Position
  • Teacher Dutch Language and Literature
Education
September 1985 - August 1991
Radboud University
Field of study
  • Dutch Language and Linguistics

Publications

Publications (49)
Thesis
Full-text available
Full text/Open Access: https://www.lotpublications.nl/the-virgin-islands-dutch-creole-textual-heritage-philological-perspectives-on-authenticity-and-audience-design Creoles are new languages: we know when they emerged. Documentary sources of their early stages are therefore crucial for finding out how they emerged. However, the authenticity of the...
Data
Full-text available
This bibliography is the updated version of the one which was published in Die Creol Taal, 250 years of Negerhollands Texts (Amsterdam: AUP, 1996). More information can be found on www.diecreoltaal.wordpress.com.
Article
Full-text available
Negerhollands displays many linguistic elements that can be traced back to dialectal Dutch, i.e. mainly West-Flemish or Zealandic. However, these elements cannot be found in any 17th century written Dutch sources dealing with the Danish Antilles. I aim to reconstruct the lexifier language of Negerhollands by charting the origin of the first Europea...
Chapter
Chapter in book for a wide audience about f.i. linguistic, onomastic and folklore sources which were and are made available by Meertens Institute to study for instance Dutch dialects. The chapter is about the use of online databases to study dialect and family names to study the origin of Dutch input in Virgin Islands Dutch Creole.
Article
In this article in Ex Tempore (Journal in the field of History, Radboud University Nijmegen) I present five snippets of manuscripts in or about Virgin Islands Dutch Creole to sketch the early years of the Dutch related creole language Virgin Islands Dutch Creole.
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter I compare the frequency of Dutch related words in the vocabulary of Skepi Dutch Creole, Berbice Dutch Creole and Virgin Islands Dutch Creole. It is bases on material by Ian Robbertson, Peter Bakker, Silvia Kouwenberg and Bart Jacobs & Mikael Parkvall. Due to new research and newly available sources, I had the possibility to update t...
Chapter
Full-text available
One of the things one does not want to hear when working on a large corpus, is that the content is very artificial, and should be ignored in your research because of the unnatural elements it contains. This is what happened with the Clarin-NEHOL-corpus of Virgin Islands Dutch Creole. The contents, mainly eighteenth-century missionary texts were con...
Data
This is the updated version of our bibliography of all texts we know in and about Virgin Islands Dutch Creole. The first version was published in Die Creol Taal (Van Rossem and Van der Voort 1996). It is updated regularly. Please contact us when publications and texts are missing.
Presentation
Full-text available
In my dissertation I refer to several aspects of Bell's 1987 Audience Design Model with regard to eighteenth century Virgin Islands Dutch Creole. In this presentation in honour of Pieter Muysken, I focus on Referee Design, the influence of missionary jargon on the creole language as used in missionary texts.
Presentation
Presentation for researchers and interested ones of the Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts and Sciences, Meertens Institute
Presentation
Full-text available
Return to sender. The development of a polyvalent Virgin Islands Dutch Creole pronoun from the 18th until the 20th century In 1995 we demonstrated the pronoun sender (originally West Flemish, 3PL subject) and phonetic variants underwent polygrammaticalization in VIDC. Twenty years later a large number of Dutch Creole texts from the earliest and la...
Data
This bibliography is the most recent version (2019) of the list of manuscripts and publications in or about Virgin Islands Dutch Creole. The bibliography was originally published in Van Rossem & Van der Voort (1996) Die Creol Taal (Amsterdam University Press) It was updated by Van Rossem from 2011 on with the help of many interested ones.
Data
This comprehensive bibliography of texts in or about Virgin Islands Dutch Creole was originally published in Die Creol Taal, 250 years of Negerhollands Texts (Amsterdam: AUP, 1996). This file is the extended version containing references to all texts related to Virgin Islands Dutch Creole which were known and/or available until March 2018.
Chapter
Full-text available
There is a growing consensus that the varieties of Virgin Islands Dutch Creole (VIDC) - often referred to as Negerhollands - should not be viewed as a single language, but rather as a language cluster of related varieties. However, there has been only limited systematic comparison of the varieties in the cluster as to their structural characteristi...
Article
Full-text available
The late Dutch author Frans Kellendonk studied the possibility to use Virgin Islands Dutch Creole as a language in his forthcoming Caribbean novel. The work remained unpublished, however the notes were stored in the library of the Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde.
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation about the use of Bell’s 1984 Audience Design model to study eighteenth century Virgin Islands Dutch Creole texts. I show why I use the model, I focus on the aspects of auditor design and referee design and add the use of numbers to indicate word order as a case study.
Presentation
Full-text available
PowerPoint of paper about the eighteenth century variant of Dutch vernacular which was probably spoken on St. Thomas, or even on the Windward Antilles, which differs from written eighteenth century Dutch. In my paper I focus on linguistic elements in Virgin Islands Dutch which originate from the dialects of the Dutch speaking Zeeland and West Fland...
Article
Full-text available
In this article I show three methods to use the Negerhollands computer corpus for a better understanding of the eighteenth century variety of Negerhollands. The first one is the study of metalinguistic comments which are taken up in several manuscripts. The second method is stemma/variety research between and within texts with the same content. The...
Article
Reinecke's A Bibliography of Pidgin and Creole Languages (1975) mentions Frank Nelson's Negerhollands wordlist from 1936. Since no related material was available between 1926 and 1977, this unpublished wordlist looked very interesting for our anthology Die Creol Taal (1996). Den Besten and Nelson corresponded several times about the list, which tur...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Negerhollands is the original creole language, lexically closely related to Dutch, of the Virgin Islands. It emerged as a separate language around 1700 and died out completely only a few years ago, having gradually been replaced by English in the course of the nineteenth century. Apart from giving information about the history and the features of t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Chapter
Full-text available
Annaeus Ypeij (1768-1837) was a church historian, born in Leeuwarden (Friesland, The Netherlands), who showed a large interest in history of the Dutch language. At several places in his publications and available manuscripts he also presents his thoughts about the Frisian language. However, is this 'real' Frisian or is it a variety of Dutch as spok...
Thesis
Full-text available
In 1812 the first book about the history of Dutch was written by the Frisian Annaeus Ypeij. This church historian from Harderwijk and Groningen was relatively unknown as a linguïst up to that moment. In my thesis I present a biography, bibliography, a description of the Beknopte Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Tale (1812, 1832), with focus on histor...

Questions

Questions (5)
Question
In Virgin Islands Dutch Creole the 3PL-pronoun SENDER can also be used as a plural marker:
- man - man
- men - man sender
In Papiamentu we see the pronoun NAN ''3PL' also following a singular noun to indicate plurality:
the house - e kas
the houses - e kasnan.
In Berbice Dutch the suffix -APU is used to indicate whether a noun is plural, however the form APU is not the pronoun of 3PL:
woman - jerma
women - jermapu.
The VIDC plural marker can also be used to indicate plurality of a relative pronoun:
- the man who walks on the street - die man die lo na pad;
- the men who walk on the street: - die man sender, DIE SENDER lo na pad.
Do you perhaps have examples of languages in which this last mentioned phenomenon is common?
Thanks in advance!
Cefas van Rossem
Meertens Institute, the Netherlands
Question
In the early twentieth century some Virgin Islands Dutch Creole wordlist were composed. A large one, from 1926, is alphabetically ordered. A smaller one, from 1936 seems to be chronologically/thematically ordered. I suppose the order of the words and the contents of these words reveal information about the actual conversation/interview. For instance, one list starts with words of welcome, while another one contains sentences like 'I have told you enough, this afternoon' (or, in my words, 'Let's quit') and 'you can write your book now.' (again 'Let's quit').
Can anyone help me to find studies about the composition of wordlists during fieldwork? I remember an article about the Crimean Gothic wordlist, of which is said it only contains  elements which could be observed during the conversation. I am interested in comparable studies.
Thanks in advance!
Cefas
Question
The language in eighteenth century Virgin Islands Dutch Creole manuscripts at first sight differs from the spoken variety of this language which was recorded in the twentieth century. A closer look, using Bell's  (1984) Audience Design Model, shows that the influence of the Referee blurs the situation. Several words and constructions appear to be word for word translations from European religious source texts or were included to educate the audience. The texts also look more or less 'broken Dutch'-like because of etymological orthography, ignoring Creole pronunciation. I consider this to be the influence of the referee/the tradition, and not as influence of an author connecting best to his audience of Creole speakers. Do you agree with me? 
Question
In my corpus of Dutch Creole texts there are several eighteenth century variants of the same text. However, the chronological distance between the oldest and the youngest variants is only about forty years. In traditional philology, for instance of medieval texts, fifty years between the variants was already considered to be too close for reliable diachronic research. Can you help me with related literature? Thanks in advance!
Question
Eighteenth century Dutch Creole texts (Danish Antilles, today's US Virgin Islands) may look somewhat articifial, but they show a bulk of linguistic elements which can be attributed as Auditor Design (a linguistic gesture of the translator toward the auditors of the texts). I suppose both slaves and missionaries belonged to this group of auditors. A comparable Creole variety is Church Sranan of Surinam.
These varieties not only differ in their missionary vocabulary, but also in orthography, morphology and syntax. Can you help me with examples of other (Creole) languages in which such a missionary variety, used by both missionaries and (former) slaves, was used.?

Projects

Project (1)
Project
PhD-project Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. (Promotor prof. dr. P. Muysken, co-promotor dr. J. Noordegraaf) On the basis of demography, metalinguistics, philology and theory of audience design, I study the authenticity of eighteenth century Virgin Islands Dutch Creole texts which were written by missionaries of the Moravian Brethren and which are made digitally available in the Clarin-NEHOL-database. From the changes which were made by contemporary editors, translators and writers, to improve the language towards their audience, the missionary variety of this Creole language appears to teach us more about the early stages of this language then previously assumed.