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A Choctaw Reference Grammar by George Aaron Broadwell BA MA PhD

By George Aaron Broadwell BA MA PhD

This e-book is the main complete reference grammar of Choctaw, an American Indian language spoken by way of nearly 11 thousand humans situated basically in Mississippi and Oklahoma. in line with nineteen years of box paintings with audio system of the Mississippi and Oklahoma dialects and greater than one hundred fifty years of written Choctaw fabric, A Choctaw Reference Grammar comprises the main entire description up to now of the morphology of the language in addition to an intensive remedy of word constitution, observe order, case marking, and complementation.The Choctaw tribe used to be divided into Oklahoma and Mississippi teams through the Indian elimination of the 1830s. this present day nearly all of fluent audio system one of the Oklahoma Choctaws are greater than 40 years outdated, and few young ones communicate the language. even supposing extra kids one of the Mississippi Choctaws study the language, the quantity is declining. simply because language is key to keeping the Choctaws’ lifestyle and either dialects of Choctaw are endangered, cautious documentation of the grammatical constitution of the language is severely vital. Compiled by way of the prime scholarly professional at the Choctaw language, George Aaron Broadwell, this quantity is either a realistic consultant to local audio system and an integral guide for linguists.

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Extra info for A Choctaw Reference Grammar

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Recall that the rule of rhythmic lengthening only affects syllables t h a t are non-final in some domain. ' Other speakers do allow rhythmic lengthening before doh: It is difficult to generalize about the distribution of these two patterns, but the latter seems more frequent with Mississippi Choctaws. Oklahoma Choctaws show both patterns. 2. The reanalysis of rhythmic lengthening Since a verb stem of the shape /CVCVCV/ very frequently appears 9. Nicklas (1974:120) gives FaEi-no:takfa]'y 'all's jaws'as a n example, demonstrating t h a t such forms are possible for the Oklahoma Choctaws he consulted.

Clearly both speakers could not be right. After asking people in several communities, I found that the pronunciations chaffah and achaffah are not correlated with community of residence at all, but are a matter of idiolectal variation. This sort of situation turned out to be extremely common. There is a tendency among Choctaw speakers to attribute any form they regard as unusual to some other community of speakers. But without going to that other community and confirming the facts, it is not possible to take individual speaker statements about dialect differences as reliable e ~ i d e n c e .

My own observations of intervocalic voicing agree with Nicklas on this point. ' Some younger speakers of Oklahoma Choctaw have shifted from a lateral to a n interdental articulation for this sound, which is then pronounced [el. I have not observed this pronunciation among Mississippi Choctaws. /f/ is labiodental for speakers I have worked with, but Nicklas (1974:16) describes a voiceless bilabial fricative [@Ifor some speakers. The contrast between /s/ and /i/(the latter like English s h as in ship, and so spelled in the orthography used in this work) is weak in syllable final position.

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