Author: Julian Granberry
Paperback: ISBN: 9783929075878 Pages: 52 Price: Europe EURO 42.00 Comment: plus Audio CD
As a result of inroads from French and English speakers, Sitimaxa, the language of the Chitimacha people of southern Louisiana over the past 7,000 years, lost its last fluent speaker in 1940 at the death of Delphine Decloux. We are fortune, however, in having wax cylinder recordings of her speech as well as that of Chief Benjamin Paul, who died in 1934. From these recordings, gathered by the linguists Morris Swadesh and his wife Mary Haas, it has been possible to acurately reconstruct both the phonology or sound system of the language and its grammatical structure.
The author of the present volumes in the three-volume Speaking Sitimaxa (Chitimacha) series, working directly with Drs. Swadesh and Haas and their recorded materials, prepared the present grammar, reader, and dictionary of Mrs.. Decloux's and Chief Paul's speech in the late 1930's and the 1940's.
The present volumes cover both a grammar of the language of these last two fluent users of the language (Volume 1), a selection of carefully edited and recorded texts of Chief Paul's speech (Volume 2), and a dictionary prepared by the author in 1948-49 from over 150 native stories dictated by Chief Paul and Mrs. Decloux (Volume 3).
Topics included in the grammar are: Sounds, Rules of Sound Change, Nouns, Particles, Verbs, and Making New Words. Through using the three volumes in the Speaking Sitimaxa series the learner can acquire a solid beginning knowledge of this now extinct, beautiful and expressive Native American language.