Tristan da Cunha

About the Site

Tristan Da Cunha is a volcanic island situated in the South Atlantic Ocean roughly halfway between Cape Town and Buenos Aires. It is the most isolated inhabited island in the world with a current population of approximately 284.

The islanders live on the plateau on the northwestern coast of the island in a community officially called Edinburgh, but referred to as The Settlement by Tristanians. There is no airfield on the island and the primary contact of the community with the outside world is through commercial fishing ships or cruise ships that travel to the island about ten times a year.

Research Questions

The local dialect reflects the rich and unique history of the community and is the result of language contacts of all kinds (British and American dialects, Dutch, Danish, Italian and a putatively English-based St. Helenian creole). One of the aims of his research is to explain how these dialects and languages merged when Tristan Da Cunha English developed in the 19th century.


Schreier, Daniel. 2001. Non-standard Grammar and Geographic Isolation: the Genesis, Structure and Development of Tristan Da Cunha English. Dissertation.