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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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seeking early 19th century linguist

Date Submitted: 15-Nov-2006
From: Kristin Gallas
Subject: seeking early 19th century linguist
Contact Email: click here to access email
Institution/Organization: USS Constitution Museum

Notice: I am the Director of Education and Interpretation at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston. We are researching the lives of the sailors, with a special focus on the free Black sailors, who served aboard USS CONSTITUTION during the War of 1812. Approximately 7-15% of the American Navy during the War of 1812 was made up of free Black men. The research that we are uncovering will feed our exhibits and interpretive programs.

We are seeking a linguistic historian who studies the speech patterns of early 19th century New England, focusing on free Blacks during the period. This information will help us more accurately portray the sailors in exhibit audio/visual presentations and live theatrical productions.

Does anyone know of a historian that studies the linguistic patterns of early 19th century Blacks in the New England area or in northern cities? Any help you can give us would be most appreciated. Please reply to kgallas@ussconstitutionmuseum.org. Thanks