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Zwartjes, O

Zwartjes, O

Otto Zwartjes, born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1958. Ph.D. from the Radboud University Nijmegen. Associate Professor in Romance Linguistics, Spanish Linguistics and Language Acquisition of Spanish at the University of Amsterdam.

Fellow (1 September 2007 – 30 June 2008)


The aim of this book project is to provide an integrated framework, analysis and evaluation of missionary grammars written in Portuguese in the colonial period. An interesting corpus of documented languages in the pre-modern period (16th – 18th century) is still extant, mainly Asian grammars and dictionaries of Japanese, Tamil, Konkani; Kipeá (Macro-Jê family), Tupinambá and the manuscript “lingua geral Amazônica” (Tupi-Guarani family) in Brazil, and Kimbundu (Angola). During my stay at NIAS I ‘discovered’ another source of the Portuguese tradition, a grammar of Nyungwe/Sena, a Bantu language found along the Zambezi river in Mozambique. This source casts new light on early-modern descriptions of Bantu languages. NIAS has played a very important role in my academic career. It gave me the opportunity to reflect upon my research and other academic activities, like teaching. The library assistance was excellent. Thanks to their support I could consult many sources I was searching