"[Includes] an excellent introduction to the linguistic situation in the region during the 17th century....[A] fascinating book for anyone interested in Native American languages and ... also an invaluable tool for historical linguists, anthropologists, and ethnologists."
This volume collects valuable fragments of linguistic data and accounts of Native language as used among the Algonquian and Iroquoian tribes of New France. Volume 1 documents not only observations on the languages themselves, but also on the mutual intelligibility and geographical extent of various dialects, the various pidgins and jargons which came into use as a result of cultural contact, and the use of European languages such as French and Basque in native North America.
The volume also includes several extended tracts in various Native American languages, including Brébeuf's 1636 description of Huron grammar, Lalemant's interlinear translation of a Huron prayer, Vimont's letter in Algonquin, Le Jeune's description of Montagnais, and many others. A map showing the location of the various missions and the approximate distributions of the Native languages is also included, as well as useful appendices:
Appendix A - A Native language concordance of the nearly 1,600 Native terms mentioned in the volume;
Appendix B - A chart which assembles the various observations about linguistic relationships found in the extracts and compares them with a modern classification.