[Ads-l] "slave"

Salikoko S. Mufwene s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Sep 1 01:10:58 UTC 2016

Originally the term /American/ did not even apply to all White 
colonists. It was used exclusively for English colonists (from England). 
Then also, the White colonists lived in segregated communities. The 
English colonies included several mini national colonies. Remember also 
that the American Revolution did not secure Independence for all people 
who resided in the American colonists either. The enslaved Africans were 
not considered Americans during the colonial period, even if they were 
locally born. There was of course a distinction between locally born and 
African born "slaves," which corresponded to "Creole" and "Bozal" slaves 
in Iberian colonies, but these terms were not used in English American 
colonies (although creolists have generalized the application of the 
terms geographically). In fact the term /American/ was invented or 
claimed by English colonists, because they despised the term "Creole," 
which was also used for locally-born White colonists in Iberian 
colonies. I believe they also wanted privileges that they did not want 
share with immigrants from continental Europe either.


On 8/31/2016 5:14 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:
> By 1814, most slaves in the US had been born in the US. The transatlantic slave trade went into decline in 1780 and the importation of slaves to the US was outlawed in 1808 (which, of course, did not mean it ended, but was considerably slowed and smaller).
> Of course, the fact that a slave might be a third, fourth, or even fifth-generation American did not necessarily mean the slave considered him or herself to be "American." But the majority would not have considered themselves to be "African" either.
> A different situation obtained for the Caribbean and Brazil, where a majority of slaves were African born well into the nineteenth century.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Laurence Horn
> Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 2:49 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] "slave"
> Well, maybe so, but if I were shanghaied (or brusseled) by a colleague of F.K.'s kidnapper and transported overseas to Belgium and were bound and forced to work in a chocolate factory, I wouldn't consider myself Belgian either.
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Salikoko S. Mufwene                    s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
The Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College
Professor, Committee on Evolutionary Biology
Professor, Committee on the Conceptual & Historical Studies of Science
University of Chicago                  773-702-8531; FAX 773-834-0924
Department of Linguistics
1115 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637, USA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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