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Die Korrespondenz zwischen H. D’Cruz und Hugo Schuchardt wurde von Hugo C. Cardoso bearbeitet, kommentiert und eingeleitet.

Die Webedition wurde unter Mitarbeit von Silvio Moreira de Sousa erstellt.

Die Edition bzw. einzelne Briefe sind zu zitieren als:

Cardoso, Hugo C. 2015. 'Die Korrespondenz zwischen H. D‘Cruz und Hugo Schuchardt'. In Bernhard Hurch (Hg.) (2007-). Hugo Schuchardt Archiv. Webedition verfügbar unter:, abgerufen am 19.11.2019



1          Biographical Sketch

H. D’Cruz was one of two speakers of the Indo-Portuguese creole of Mahé (Southern India) who provided Hugo Schuchardt with data on this language, through the intervention of pastor Schmolck. Very little is known of D’Cruz’s life, and that only through Schmolck’s letters to Schuchardt. In a side note written by Schmolck on a set of linguistic data dispatched to Schuchardt in 1884 (manuscript Nr. in the catalogue), D'Cruz is described as “ein alter Portugiese” (‘an elderly Portuguese’) from Mahé, by then already retired, who had earlier been “Regierungsdolmetscher” (‘government interpreter’). These facts indicate that D’Cruz must have been born around the first quarter of the 19th century, presumably of an Indo-Portuguese family of Mahé. He was certainly an educated man, and fluent not only in Indo-Portuguese and in Portuguese (in which language he wrote his letter) but also in French, which was the language of administration in Mahé at the time, and in Malayalam, the major regional laguage.


2          Editorial notes

The short letter by D’Cruz preserved in Schuchardt’s archive was written on February 12th 1885, but we know that D’Cruz had already provided some data posted by Schmolck to Schuchardt in late 1884 (manuscript Nr. in the catalogue), consisting of at least the 5 Mahé songs transcribed in Schuchardt’s 1889 article. In his letter, D’Cruz confirms the reception of a letter that Schuchardt sent him via Schmolck, which is corroborated in a letter by Schmolck dated February 10th 1885 (Nr. 10132 in the catalogue). D’Cruz’s letter is written in very formal and largely correct standard Portuguese, but it reveals some influence from French in certain spellings – e.g. complimontos (Fr. compliments) for Ptg, cumprimentos ‘regards’ – and constructions – e.g. sou à dezer (Fr. je suis à dire) for Ptg. devo dizer ‘I must say’.


3          Linguistic contribution

The endeavours D’Cruz promises to make in his letter probably materalised in a filled-out questionnaire with translations of a few sentences proposed by Schuchardt, which is preserved in Schuchardt’s Archive and formed the basis of a major section of his 1889 article on the Indo-Portuguese of Mahé and Cannanore. Interestingly, Schmolck had doubts about the accuracy of D’Cruz’s translations and therefore asked another informant, Mr. Rozario, to fill out the same questionnaire. As a result, we now avail of two versions of the same set of translations, which provide a rare glimpse into 19th-c. sociolinguistic variation among Indo-Portuguese speakers (cf. Cardoso 2014). Of the two, D’Cruz’s version turns out to be the most basilectal or archaic.


4          References

- Cardoso, Hugo C. 2014. 'Factoring sociolinguistic variation into the history of Indo-Portuguese'. In Revista de Crioulos de Base Lexical Portuguesa e Espanhola 5: 87-114.

- Schuchardt, Hugo. 1889. 'Beiträge zur Kenntnis des kreolischen Romanisch VI. Zum Indoportugiesischen von Mahé und Cannanore'. In Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 13: 516-524.


The whereabouts of the letters from Schuchardt are unknown.

Briefedition und Kommentare

The letter from D‘Cruz to Schuchardt (Librarynumber 02067) dates from 1885.