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Figures from colonial history and the study of varieties


Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), Italian/Spanish explorer, 15th century discoverer of America.


Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480-1521), Portuguese/Spanish explorer, first to circumnavigate the world.   



Vasco da Gama (c. 1469-1524), Portuguese explorer who rounded Cape of Good Hope and discovered sea route to India.  



John Cabot (c. 1450-1499), Italian/English explorer, first modern European to discover Newfoundland.



Jacques Cartier (1491-1557), French explorer of eastern North America and what was later to become Canada.  


Humphrey Gilbert (c. 1539-1583), English navigator who claimed Newfoundland for the British.  



Walter Raleigh (1554-1618), English navigator, who founded the first (unsuccessful) English settlement in America at Roanoke Island in 1585 and claimed the region – Virginia – for the English crown.  



John Speed (1552-1629), a famous English cartographer, who at the beginning of the 17th century produced several excellent maps of parts of the British Isles and of the world as it was known to his contemporaries.  



James Cook (1728-1779), English naval officer, who claimed Australia for the English crown by landing on the south-east coast in 1770.  



Edward Gibbon Wakefield (1796-1862), English statesman, who encouraged the ordered settlement of Australia and New Zealand.  



Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), English colonial figure who established the settlement at the end of the Malay peninsula which was later to become Singapore.  



Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902), British-born South-African politician and businessman who promoted the development of the north of southern Africa.  



Hugo Schuchadt (1842-1927), German linguist who was among the first to recognise the linguistic value of creole languages.  



Charles Leland (1824-1903), a not uncontroversial American scholar who researched both pidgins and creoles and the language of travellers and the group then called gypsies.  



Joseph Wright (1855-1930), English linguist who compiled a comprehensive dictionary of English dialects along with a dialect grammar.  



Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956), American journalist and author, known in linguistics for his book The American language (1919 with later editions and supplements).



Hans Kurath (1891-1992), American dialectologist and lexicographer of Austrian extraction who compiled a linguistic atlas of the United States and Canada.  



John Reinecke (1904-1982), An American scholar who, after moving to Hawai'i in 1926, worked on creole languages.  



Turner, Lorenzo Dow (1895-1972), American linguist known for his seminal work on the African background to Gullah in the United States, Africanisms in the Gullah dialect (1949).  



Derek Bickerton, an American linguist who is known for his views on how children ‘create’ language in a creole situation (based on what he calls the ‘bioprogram’).  



Daniel Jones (1881-1967), English phonetician, responsible mainly for the description of Received Pronunciation at the beginning of the 20th century.  



William Labov (1927- ), American linguist and founder of the modern discipline of sociolinguistics.