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This volume contains a selection of papers which have been revised and extended for publication from two working groups held at conferences at Galway (1992) and Göteborg (1993) which celebrated the quincentenary of Columbus' discovery of America in 1492. The pre-Columbian period of language contact is covered by articles on Old Norse in the Faroes, Scotland and Ireland, the Shetland dialect and Norn, and placenames in Iceland and Greenland. The articles on the post-Columbian period are wide-ranging and cover, in the Scandinavian context, the Scandinavian emigration, American Swedish, American Finnish, Swedish-Spanish and various aspects of Norwegian in America and also in Spitzbergen; in the British colonial context, English dialects in New England, Scottish Gaelic in Nova Scotia and Scots in North America (Maryland, the Appalachians and Virginia); in the context of the later continental mass emigration, American Dutch, Texas German, Croatian and Italian. Two papers deal with reverse emigration, that of Sicilian and Calabrian dialects, and the special case of Krio in Sierra Leone.