The basilectal variety is the language as spoken by the enslaved population in the initial Danish colony and their descendants in the 19th and 20th century. The file AMAGENS contains non-native Negerhollands, but it is included in this subcorpus because the author clearly uses the basilectal variety. De Josselin de Jong (1926 DJDJ texts), which consists of narratives, is the most voluminous source of basilectal data.
The colonists’ variety of Negerhollands was spoken by a part of the locally born inhabitants of the Virgin Islands of European descent in the 18th century. It was a native language for many alongside their ancestral European language (e.g., Dutch or Danish).
The majority of the 18th century data have been provided by missionaries. There have been two independent missions: a Moravian (German speaking) one and a Danish Lutheran. The sources in this subcorpus have been written by missionaries from either mission.
The slave letters are included in this, separate subcorpus, because they cannot be categorised as fitting into one of the other subcorpora. These letters have either been written by slaves - with possibly a few slaves having learnt how to write, who have written down letters dictated to them – or missionaries writing the letters dictated to them by some of the slaves. It is clear that the variety of Negerhollands used in the letters aims at an acrolectal variety of Negerhollands or sometimes even Dutch. This will be due at least partially to the fact that it is the missionaries who taught the slaves how to write and they will have aimed for a more Dutch-like standard.