GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin — The facts and findings of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin by Rhoda Arrindell is at the center of the Emancipation Day discussion on Tuesday, July 1, at 7:30 PM, at Philipsburg Jubilee Library, according to House of Nehesi (HNP), the book’s publisher.
The new study looks at how St. Martiners see their own identity; and how and why the island’s speech has been changing before and after the 1848 Emancipation, said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.
“Dr. Arrindell also uses interviews and surveys to present what immigrant groups think about the St. Martin way of speaking, and about other aspects of the culture on both parts of the island. All of this makes for a first-of-its-kind book for us,” said Sample.
“Arrindell’s research is a unique groundbreaking work,” said Prof. Alma Simounet, a linguist at the University of Puerto Rico.
“The Emancipation Day discussion will tackle issues in the book, from the curious to the controversial. Questions and comments from people in the audience will also be invited,” said Arrindell, who will read short selections to stimulate the exchange.
In Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin, Arrindell presents different points of view, analyzes, and explains. She manages to open the way to a wider public and scholarly discussion about the nation’s language, culture, and identity; and about education policies and practices in the South and North of the island, said the publisher.
Released in early June 2014, Arrindell’s book cites earlier research by Daniella Jeffry, Mario Brown, and Linda Richardson on whether St. Martin has its own language or a creole dialect. “But Dr. Arrindell goes the furthest so far to introduce St. Martin in a scientific way to the complex language, ethnic, and culture realities of the Caribbean region,” said Sample.
The writings of leading international language experts are drawn into the book as well. According to the distinguished US professor Dr. Garrett Hongo, the overall work by Arrindell is an “achievement” in the “linguistic realm” as it relates to actual evidence of “resistance, naming, and claiming” in the island’s culture. Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin is based on Arrindell’s original Ph.D. research.
At the Tuesday program, copies of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin will be available for every one and for the author to sign. The new title can be found at Van Dorp bookstore, SPDbooks.org, and Amazon.com, said Sample.
The Emancipation Day discussion is organized by the St. Martin Book Fair Committee and sponsored by SOS Radio, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.
Photo caption1: Rhoda Arrindell (3rd R., seated), author of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin, surrounded by young book party guests. (A.A. photo)
Photo caption2: Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin by Rhoda Arrindell.