Topic: Language

Linguistic Families of American Indians North of Mexico

Swanton’s The Indian Tribes of North America is a classic example of early 20th Century Native American ethnological research. Published in 1953 in Bulletin 145 of the Bureau of American Ethnology, this manuscript covers all known Indian tribes broken down by location (state). AccessGenealogy’s online presentation provides state pages by which the user is then either provided a brief history of the tribe, or is referred to a more in-depth ethnological representation of the tribe and it’s place in history. This ethnology usually contains the various names by which the tribe was known, general locations of the tribe, village names, brief history, population statistics for the tribe, and then connections in which the tribe is noted.

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Vocabulary of the Tuscarora

Vocabulary of the Tuscarora 1 God, Ya wuhn ne yuh. 2 Devil, Oo na sa roo nuh. 3 Man, Ehn kweh. 4 Woman, Hah wuhn nuh. 5 Boy, Kun chu kweh’r. 6 Girl, Ya te ah cha yeuh. 7 Child, Kats ah. 8 Father (my), E ah kre ehn. 9 Mother (my), E a nuh. 10 Husband (my), E na yah keah wuhn te kehn rea nuhn. 11 Wife (my), (The same word as for my husband.) 12 Son (his), Trah wuhn ruh, nuh nuhn, a ne hah. 13 Daughter (his), Tra wuhn ruh, nuhn, kah-nuhn nuhn. 14 Brother (my), E ah ke ah t’keuh. 15 Sister (my), Eah keah nuhn nooh’r. 16 An Indian, Reuh kweh hehn weh. 17 Head, Yah reh. 18 Hair (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah weh rah wuhn. 19 Face (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah keuh seuh keh. 20 Forehead (his), Trah wuhn ruh, keuh neuh keh. 21 Scalp, Trah wuhn ruh, nuh reh. 22 Ear his Trah wuhn ruh kunh nunh keh. 23 Eye his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh kahreuhkeh. 24 Nose his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh u cheuh seuh keh. 25 Nostril his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh cheuh kah reuh. 26 Mouth his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh skahreuh. 27 Tongue his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh reuh toh neuh keh. 28 Tooth his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh rah tooh tseh. 29 Beard his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh sooh keh reh....

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Oneida Vocabulary

224 Alive Loon ha. 225 Dead La wan ha yun. 226 Life Yun ha. 227 Death Ya wu ha yah. 228 Cold Yutholah. 229 Hot Yu ta le han. 230 Sour Ta yo yo gis. 231 Sweet Ya wa gon. 232 Bitter Yutskalot. 233 I Ee. 234 Thou Eesa. He she. 235 He or she La oon ha a oon ha. 236 We Tat ne jah loo 237 You Eesa. 238 They Lo no hah. 239 This Kah e kah. 240 That To e kuh. 241 All A quR kon. 242 Part Ta kah ha sioun. 243 Many A so. 244 Who Hon ka. 245 Near Ac tah. 246 Far-off E non. 247 To-day Ka wan da. 248 Yesterday Ta tan. 249 To-morrow A yul ha na. 250 Yes Ha. 251 No Yah ten. 252 Perhaps To ga no nah. 253 Above A nah kan. 254 Wonder An ta ka. 255 Within Na gon. 256 Without Ats ta. 257 On Ka ha le. 258 Something Ot hok no ho ta. 259 Nothing Ya ha ta non. 260 One Ans cot. 261 Two, Da ga nee. 262 Three Ha son. 263 Four Ki ya lee. 264 Five Wisk. 265 Six Yah yak. 266 Seven Ja dak. 267 Eight Ta ka Ion. 268 Nine Wa tlon. 269 Ten O ya lee. 270 Eleven Ans cot ya wa la. 271 Twelve Da...

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Mohawk Vocabulary

Mohawk Vocabulary 1 God Niyoh 2 Devil Onesohrono 3 Man Rongwe 4 Woman Yongwe 5 Boy Raxaa 6 Girl Kaxaa 7 Child Exaa 8 Infant Owiraa 9 Father (my) Rakeniha 10 Mother (my) Isteaha 11 Husband (my) Teyakenitero 12 Wife (my) Teyakenitero 13 Son (my) Iyeaha 14 Daughter (my) Keyeaha 15 Brother (my) Akyatatekeaha 16 Sister (my) Akyatatoseaha 17 An Indian Ongwehowe 18 Head Onontsi 19 Hair Ononkwis 20 Face Okonsa 2 1 Scalp Onora 22 Ear Ohonta 23 Eye, Okara 24 Nose Onyohsa 25 Mouth Jirasakaronte 26 Tongue Aweanaefhsa 27 Tooth Onawi 28 Beard Okeasteara 29 Neck , Onyara 30 Arm Onontsa 31 Shoulder Oghneahsa 32 Back, Oghnagea 33 Hand Osnosa 34 Finger Osnosa 35 Nail Ojiera 36 Breast Aonskwena 37 Body Oyeronta 38 Leg Oghsina 39 Navel Oneritsta 40 Thigh Oghnitsa 41 Knee Okwitsa 42 Foot Oghsita 43 Toe Oghyakwe 44 Heel Grata 45 Bone Ostiea 46 Heart Aweri 47 Liver Otweahsa 48 Windpipe Ratoryehta 49 Stomach Onekereanta 50 Bladder Oninheaghhata 51 Blood Onegweasa 52 Vein Oginohyaghtough 53 Sinew Oginohyaghtough 54 Flesh Owarough 55 Skin Oghna 56 Seat Onitskwara 57 Ankle Osinegota 58 Town Kanata 59 House Kanosa 60 Door Kanhoha 61 Lodge Teyetasta 62 Chief Rakowana 63 Warrior Roskeahragehte 64 Friend Atearosera 65 Enemy Shagoswease 66 Kettle Onta 67 Arrow Kayonkwere 68 Bow Aeana 69 War club Yeanteriyohta kanyoh 70 Spear Aghsikwe 71 Axe Atokea 72...

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Letter from Rev. Gilbert Rockwood to Henry R Schoolcraft

Letter from Rev. Gilbert Rockwood to Henry R Schoolcraft. Tuscarora Mission, August 1, 1845. SIR: In the following communication, you can make use of such statements as you may deem proper. If all the statements should not be necessary for your official objects, yet they may be interesting to you as an individual. This mission was commenced about fifty years since, under the care of the “New York Missionary Society.” It was transferred to the ” United Foreign Mission Society,” in 1821, and to the ” American Board of Com. for Foreign Missions,” in 1826. The church was organized in 1805, with five persons. The whole number of native members who have united since its organization is 123. The present number of native members is 53; others 5, total 58. Between July 1st, 1844, and July 1st, 1845, there were only three admissions, two by profession and one by letter. About one-third of the population attend meeting on the Sabbath. Their meeting house was built by themselves, with a little assistance from abroad. They have also a schoolhouse, the expense of which was nearly all defrayed by themselves. There is but one school among them, which is kept the year through, with the exception of the vacations. The teacher is appointed by the American Board. The number of scholars the past year is not far from 50. I have...

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Letter from Rev. William McMurray to H. R. Schoolcraft

Letter from Rev. Wm. McMurray to H. R. Schoolcraft Dundas, November 11th, 1845. MY DEAR SIR I have just received the vocabularies, with the Indian words, from the Rev. Adam Elliot, of Tuscarora, to whom I sent them for the translation. The cause of the delay was his severe illness, and the difficulty of getting suitable persons to give him the Indian. He says, before you publish, if you will send him, through me, the proof sheets, he will have them corrected for you, and forwarded without delay. He is an amiable and most excellent man. Yours, most faithfully, WILLIAM...

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Cayuga Vocabulary

1 God Niyoh 2 Devil Onesoono 3 Man Najina 4 Woman Konheghtie 5 Boy Aksaa 6 Girl Exaa 7 Child Exaa 8 Infant Onoskwataa 9 Father (my) Ihani 10 Mother (my) Iknoha 11 Husband (my) lonkniniago 12 Wife (my) longiahisko 13 Son (my) Ihihawog 14 Daughter (my) Ikhehawog 15 Brother (my) Itekyatehnonte 16 Sister (my) Kekeaha 17 An Indian Ongwehowe 18 Head Onowaa 19 Hair Ononkia 20 Face Okonsa 21 Scalp Onoha 22 Ear Honta 23 Eye Okaghha 24 Nose Ony ohsia 25 Mouth Sishakaent 26 Tongue Aweanaghsa 27 Tooth Onojia 28 Beard Okosteaa 29 Neck Onyaa 30 Arm Oneantsa 31 Shoulder Oghnesia 32 Back Eshoghne 33 Hand Kshoghtage 34 Finger Onia 35 Nail Ojeighta 36 Breast Oahsia 37 Body Oyeonta 38 Leg Oghsena 29 Navel Kotshetot 40 Thigh Onhoska 41 Knee Okontsha 42 Foot Oshita 43 Toe Oghyakwea 44 Heel lyatage 45 Bone Ostienda 46 Heart Kawiaghsa 47 Liver Gotwesia 48 Windpipe Ohowa 49 Stomach Onekreanda Cayuga Vocabulary Page 271 50 Bladder, Onheha 51 Blood, Otgweasa 52 Yein, Ojinohyada 53 Sinew, Ojinohyada 54 Flesh, Owaho 55 Skin, Ogoneghwa 56 Seat, Ondiadakwa 57 Ankle, Ojihougwa 58 Town, Kanatae 59 House, Kanosiod 60 Door, Kanhoha 61 Lodge, Teyetasta 62 Chief, Aghseanewane 63 Warrior, Osgeagehta 64 Friend, Aterotsera 65 Enemy, Ondateswaes 66 Kettle, Kanadsia 67 Arrow, Kanoh 68 Bow, Adoia 69 War Club, Kajihwaodriohta 70 Spear, Kaghsigwa 71 Axe, Atokea 72...

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Blackfoot Family Relationship Terms

The most important relationships in life are given in the accompanying table where the equivalents in our nomenclature are given for the Piegan terms: first, if the person considered is male, second, if female. In general, it appears that the terms as applied by males to males are more restricted and definite than those of males to females and females to persons of both sexes, though in function the terms are so used as to be equally intelligible. Thus, while a girl uses the term, father, in addressing men married to her mother’s sisters, she does not confuse this relation with the real one. On the other hand, it appears that the system as given in the table is ordered on the theory that sisters become the wives of the same man. This is also consistent with the distant-wife relationship previously discussed. Further, the system seems adapted to a gentile band organization in that the relation-ships of the women are more inclusive on the father’s side; this, however, is not entirely consistent. Terms Significance as Applied to Males, Significance as Applied to Females  nĭ‘nna my father my father and husbands of my mother’s sisters. niksŏ‘stak my mother and her sisters; wives of my elder brothers, brothers of my father and of my mother my mother and her sisters; wives of my father’s brothers. nĭ’ssa’ my elder brothers and all...

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Yuchi Language

My original purpose in visiting the Yuchi was to collect linguistic matter, which is now being worked up for special purposes in the interest of the Bureau of Ethnology. Although the detailed results of my linguistic studies are not available for the present paper it will be of advantage to introduce here a general statement regarding some characteristics of the language. It is quite certain now that Yuchi is spoken in only one dialect, although there is a current opinion that formerly the stock was more numerous than it is at present and that the language was spoken in two dialects. These dialects are stated according to tradition to have been mutually intelligible when spoken slowly. The language is characterized as regards processes by the use of postpositional and prepositional particles to show local modification of the noun, and by the use of auxiliaries to show adverbial and modal qualification of the verb. Position also plays some part in the expression of adverbial modification, verbal subordination, and sentence syntax. Inflection is not a characteristic of Yuchi, and reduplication is only used to denote the idea of distribution in time and space. The parts of speech seem to be nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns and particles. There are no syntactical cases, as in the neighboring Muskogian. The position of words indicates their syntactical relationship. Neither do there appear to be case...

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Education, Schools and Language on the Six Nations Reservations

The pagan element, as a general rule, is opposed to education. Exceptions are sometimes found. Families with small means, unwilling to make any effort to change their condition, claim that they need their children for homework. Even when they enter them at the beginning of the term, they do not enforce their attendance. The children, to a large extent, inherit careless, sluggish, indolent natures, and a lazy spirit. In some respects their capacities are above the average standard of the white people. They are more uniformly good penmen, good musicians, and excel in drawing, but the statements of the...

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English to Chinook Dictionary

Above, ságh-a-lie. Absolve, mam’-ook stoh. Acorns, káh-na-way. Across, in’-a-ti. Afraid, kwass. After, Afterwards, kim’-ta. Again, weght. All, kon’-a-way. Alms, e’-la-han, or e-lann’. Also, weght. Although, kégh-tchie. Always, kwáh-ne-sum. American, Boston. Amusement, hee’-hee. And, pee. Anger, Angry, sol’-leks. Apple, le pome. Apron, kéh-su, or ki’-su. Arbutus uva ursi, lahb. Arrive at, ko. Arrow, ka-li’-tan. As if, káh-kwa spose. At, ko’-pa. Aunt, kwal’h. Awl, shoes keep’-wot. Axe, la-hash’. Bad, me-sáh-chie; pe-shuk’. Bag, le sak. Ball, le bal. Bargain, máh-kook; húy-húy. Bark, s’ick-skin. Barrel, ta-mo’-litsh. Basket, o’-pe-kwan. Beads, ka-mo’-suk. Bear (black), chet’-woot; its’woot; (grizzly), si-am’. Beat, to, kok’-shut. Beaver, ee’-na. Because, kéh-wa. Become, to, cháh-ko. Bed, bed. Before, e’-lip, or el’-ip. Behind, kim’-ta. Bell, tin’-tin. Belly, ya-kwáh-tin. Below, kee’-kwil-lie. Belt, la san-jel’. Berries, o’-lil-lie; o’-lal-lie. Best, e’-lip closhe. Bird, kal-lak’-a-la. Biscuit, le bis’-kwee. Bitter, klihl. Black, klale. Blackberries, klik’-a-muks. Blanket, pa-see’-sie. Blind, ha’-lo se-áh-host. Blood, pil-pil. Blow out, mam’-ook poh. Blue (light), spo’-oh. Blue (dark), klale. Blunder, to, tsee’-pie. Board, la plash. Boat, boat. Bob-tailed; a bob-tailed horse, sis’-ki-you. Boil, to, lip’-lip. Bone, stone. Borrow, to, a-yáh-whul. Bosom (female), to-toosh. Both, kun’-a-moxt. Bottle, la-boo-ti’. Bow, o’-pitl-kegh. Bowl, oos’-kan. Box, la ca-sett’. Bracelet, klik’-wal-lie. Brave, skoo’-kum tum’-tum. Bread, le pan. Break, to, kok’-shut. Breasts, to-toosh’. Breech clout, o’-poots sill. Bridle, la bleed. Bright, to-wágh. Broad, kluk-ulh’. Broom, bloom. Brother, káhp-ho, if elder than the speaker; ow, if younger. Male cousins the same. Brother-in-law,...

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Chinook to English Dictionary

Ah-ha, adv. Common to various tribes. Yes. Expression of simple assent. On Puget Sound, E-ÉH. Ah’n-kut-te, or Ahn-kot-tie, adv. Chinook, ANKUTTI. Formerly; before now. With the accent prolonged on the first syllable, a long time ago. Ex. Ahnkutte lakit sun, four days ago; Tenas ahnkutte, a little while since. Al-áh, interj. Expression of surprise. Ex. Alah mika chahko! ah, you’ve come! Al-kie, adv. Chinook, ALKEKH. Presently; in a little while; hold on; not so fast. Al’-ta , adv. Chinook, ALTAKH. Now; at the present time. A-mo’-te, n. Chinook, AMUTE; Clatsop, KLABOTÉ. The strawberry. An-áh , interj. An exclamation denoting pain, displeasure, or depreciation. Ex. Anah nawitka mika halo shem, ah, indeed you are without shame. On Puget Sound, Ad-de-dáh. Ats , n. Chinook, idem; Yakama, ATSE (Pandosy). A sister younger than the speaker. In the original, only when used by her brother. A-yáh-whul , v. Chihalis, ATAHWUL. To lend; borrow. Ay-kéh-nam. See EH-KAH-NAM.   Bé-be, n., v. French. A word used towards children; probably a repetition of the first syllable of BAISER. A kiss; to kiss. Bed, n. English, idem. A bed. Bit, or Mit, n. English, BIT. A dime or shilling. Bloom, n. English, BROOM. A broom. Mamook bloom, to sweep. Boat, n. English, idem. A boat, as distinguished from a canoe. Bos’-ton, n., adj. An American; American. A name derived from the hailing-place of the first trading-ships...

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Twenty-one Analogies between the Chinook and other Native Languages

Setting aside interjections, common in a more or less modified form to several adjoining tribes, twenty-one words of those given in this vocabulary present noticeable analogies between the Chinook and other native languages. They are as follows: English Chinook Hailtzuk and Belbella salmon berries klalilli olalli   English Chinook and Clatsop Nootka (Jewitt and Cook) water tl’tsuk: tl’chukw chauk: chahak   English Chinook Cowlitz Kwantlen Selish six tákhum tukh’um tuckhum’ táckan   English Chinook Chihalis Nisqually deep kellippe kluputl klep glad kwan kwal (“tame”) proud eyútl júil demon ichiatku tsiatko tsiatko black bear eitchhut, chetwut crow skaka skaka oyster klokhklokh chetlókh klokhklokh game of “hands” itlokum setlokum   English Chinook Yakama and Klikatat certainly nawitka n’witka always kwanisum kwálisim younger sister ats atse road wehut wiet (“far”) barrel tamtúlitsh tamolitsh buffalo emúsmus músmus coyote itálipus talipa (“gray fox”) mouse kholkhol khóilkhoil bread tsapelil saplil needle okwépowa kapus (“a pin”) The Clatsop (Klátsop) is merely a dialect of the Chinook (Tchinúk); the Cowlitz (Káualitsk), Kwantlen, Chihalis (Tsihélis), and Nisqually (N’skwáli), are severally languages belonging to the Sélish family. The Yakama and Klikatat are dialects of one of the Sahaptin languages; and the Tokwaht (Tokwát), Nittinat, and Makah (Maká), quoted in the dictionary, are dialects of the Nootka (Nútka), of which the Hailtzuk or Belbella (variously spelled Haeeltzuk and Hailtsa) is probably the northern type. It thus appears that, with two...

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Words Constituting the Jargon

The number of words constituting the Jargon proper has been variously stated. Many formerly employed have become in great measure obsolete, while others have been locally introduced. Thus, at the Dalles of the Columbia, various terms are common which would not be intelligible at Astoria or on Puget Sound. In making the following selection, I have included all those which, on reference to a number of vocabularies, I have found current at any of these places, rejecting, on the other hand, such as individuals, partially acquainted with the native languages, have employed for their own convenience. The total number falls a little short of five hundred words. An analysis of their derivations gives the following result: Chinook including Clatsop 200 Chinook, having analogies with other languages 21 Interjections common to several 8 Nootka, including dialects 24 Chihalis, 32; Nisqually, 7 39 Klikatat and Yakama 2 Cree 2 Chippeway (Ojibwa) 1 Wasco (probably) 4 Kalapuya (probably) 4 By direct onomatopoeia 6 Derivation unknown, or undetermined 18 French, 90; Canadian, 4 94 English 67 I had no opportunity of original investigation into the Nootka proper, but from the few words in different published vocabularies, and from some imperfect manuscript ones in my possession of the Tokwaht, Nittinat, and Makah dialects, have ascertained the number above given. Some of the unascertained words probably also belong to that language. Neither was I able...

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Analogy between the Nootkan and Columbian or Chinook

Dr. Scouler’s analogy between the Nootkan and “Columbian,” or Chinook, was founded on the following words: English Tlaoquatch and Nutka Columbian plenty *aya *haya no *wik *wake water tchaak chuck good *hooleish *closh bad *peishakeis *peshak man *tchuckoop tillicham woman *tlootsemin *clootchamen child *tanassis *tanass now tlahowieh clahowiah come *tchooqua *sacko slave mischemas *mischemas what are you doing *akoots-ka-*mamook ekta-*mammok what are you saying *au-kaak-*wawa ekta-*wawa let me see *nannanitch *nannanitch sun *opeth ootlach sky *sieya  *saya fruit  *chamas *camas to sell *makok *makok understand *commatax *commatax * But of these, none marked with an asterisk belong to the Chinook or any of its dialects. The greater part of them are undoubtedly Nootkan, though there are errors in the spelling and, in some instances, in the meaning. Of the rest, the Nootkan “tchaak” and the Chinook “tl’tsuk” alone presents an analogy. “Klahowiah” does not mean “now,” nor do I believe it is Nootkan, in any sense. It is, as explained in the dictionary, the Chinook salutation, “How do you,” “Good-bye,” and is supposed to be derived from the word for “poor”, “miserable”. “Mischemas” is not Chinook, and is probably not Nootkan. With the exception of Franchere, whose short vocabulary was published by Mr. Gallatin, and Mr. Hale, all the writers mentioned by Ludwig who have given specimens of the Chinook language, have presented it in its Jargon form, more...

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