Print

Print


Danny Wier wrote:

>>My knowledge of Choctaw is sketchy.  Most of it I have picked up during my
>>study of Chickasaw (which until recently was considered a dialect of
>>Choctaw).
>>(This is my disclaimer - caveat lector)
>
>That's right.  Choctaw and Chickasaw are like Serbian and Croatian, which I
>mentioned.  Or maybe Danish and one of the two Norwegians, I forget which
>one is more like Danish...  Anyway, they're highly mutually intellegible,
>divided only by politics.

No.  Choctaw speakers cannot understand Chickasaw.  My advisor Pam Munro has
tested this  on a couple of occasions.  Choctaw speakers cannot follow a story
told in Chickasaw.  The reverse is not true because until this decade,
Chickasaw was not written, and all religious material and instruction was in
Choctaw.  This isn't mutual intellegibility, its bilingualism.

>Yeah, I've only seen a few published examples of Choctaw.  I plan on taking
>a trip to Oklahoma, with proofs in hand incluiding a receipt paid to my
>great-grandfather from the state of Mississippi in the amount of one hundred
>dollars for reimbursement for Indian lands taken by White settlement, and
>becoming an enrolled member in the Choctaw nation.

Good luck with that receipt!

  Then I'll look at some
>documents and get a feel for the look and sound of the language.  I should
>learn a fair amount of Choctaw as well,

I'd recommend it.  Chickasaw and Choctaw are really fascinating languages.

>>You have to be careful of <hl>, because it can represent the sequence <h> +
>><l>
>>or the lateral fricative.
>
>Hmmm... they might underline h and l together if they represent one phoneme.
>  But I can't remember since I only studied the language very superficially
>six years ago.

If you look in the most popular Choctaw dictionary, <h+l> and the lateral
fricative are not distinguished most of the time.  Older versions wrote the
lateral fricative as either <lh> or <hl> indiscriminately.  No wonder the poor
publishers were confused!

>I've seen other Amerindian languages using superscript n for the nasal as
>well.  They were listed in that website.  I'd prefer using a tilde as
>Portuguese does.  But even an underline is better than an ambiguous use of
>n.

I absolutely agree.  I've never been a fan of the underscore either.

>I'd expect that.  But at least Choctaw changed the form to that of a
>distinct letter and not leaving it like the V.  (I don't think /v/ is found
>in Choctaw either.)

Nope.  Not even allophonically, IIRC.

>By the way... has anyone ever tried to apply the Cherokee syllabry to
>Choctaw or any other aboriginal language of the southeastern US, that is,
>Muskogean, Caddoan, or what not?  I'd like to see if Choctaw could be
>written with Sequoyah's glyphs.  But I just don't remember what is and what
>is not a phoneme in Choctaw.  Anybody?

(As before, this is subject to my memory and possiblly confusion with
Chickasaw.)

Three vowels: a, i, o.  Each one can be phonemically short, long or nasal.
(Schwa is short a, written with upsilon; long i is sometimes written with
<e>).
Two nasal consonant phonemes: n m (maybe N, I don't remember)
Three approximants: y w l
Stops: b p t k ' (glottal stop can only be word initial or final, they are
never written)
Fricatives: f s sh lh h
One affricate: ch

Any of the consonants can be geminate.

Marcus