chapter  7
14 Pages

The Case of Bungi: Evidence for Vernacular Universals


The Bungi dialect arose in the mid-eighteenth century along trade routes south of Hudson Bay, in what is now the Canadian province of Manitoba. This English vernacular resulted from contact and intermarriage between Scottish English-speaking Hudson Bay Company traders and the indigenous Cree. During its development, Bungi had little, if any, contact with standard Canadian English, as the speakers were both socially and geographically isolated from mainstream Canadian culture. Bungi continued to be spoken into the twentieth century, but by the 1990s, only a few elderly speakers remained (Blain 1992).