« PreviousContinue »
gins. Jumna-japotói is our rule; but the word for our is not a word, which can be applied alike in all cases; though it may be used on some occasions, it must not be on all. « Let us give an example to illustrate this metaphysical point:
“When a Tamánacan, in addressing us (foreigners) says in his own language, jumna-japotòi patcurbe, (our rule is good) the expression is correct and elegant. But may it hence be inferred, that he can use the same expression in addressing his own countrymen ? By no means. If his discourse is directed to one only, he must say capotòi, that is, our (rule) of us two; in which case the dual of the Greeks occurs. But perhaps the speaker would address himself to several of his countrymen ; and in that case he can no longer make use of the word capotòi, but must have recourse to another word, which is limited, in some sort, to the persons spoken to, but cannot be applied to others; that is, capotoi-chemò, our rule of us alone. This precision is something very different from barbarous. The dual number, indeed, is not new to the learned; but hitherto they have not been aware of a plural, which was only applicable to a limited number of persons, as we see in the expression capotòi-chemò and the like. In my MS. Grammar of the Tamanacan language, I bave called this mode of speech the determinate plural.” The author afterwards, referring his readers to what is here said of the numbers of the nouns, observes, that precisely the same peculiarity exists in the numbers of the verbs.*
The same writer, in speaking of the language of the Incas (which, he observes, is very extensively spoken) has the following observations on this point:
“It is to be noted (as before observed in the case of the Tamanacan language) that the pronoun we is expressed in two ways. If the persons spoken to are included with the person speaking, v. g. we (Italians) love literature, the idea is to be expressed, when other Italians are thus spoken to, by the pronoun gnocàncis ; but if the word we is addressed to foreigners, then it must be expressed by gnocaicu ;.....thus, jajancis is our father, when another person is included; but when such other is excluded, jajaicu must be used..... The verb, in the first person plural, has the same variation that has been mentioned in the pronoun we."
In the language of Cichitto, (Chiquito) also, he observes, that “there is, in the first person plural, the inclusive number, as it
is called, and the exclusive number, exactly as in the language of the Incas." *
Gilij also mentions a singularity in the languages of the Orinoco ; which is, that the plural form of nouns is not applied to irrational animals; but in order to denote the plural in such cases, they annex to the noun a numeral, or some word of multitude; as, I saw two, three or many tigers, &c. But, again, in the case of inanimate beings, they use the plural number; as, mata, the field, matac-ne, the fields ; cene, this thing, cenec-ne, these things, &c.t
In the language of Chili (according to Febrès) the noun has an analogy to the nouns of the eastern languages, in having three numbers, the singular, dual and plural. I
The Pronoun Relative.
P. 12. “ They have no relative corresponding to our who or which."
Both the Delaware and the Massachusetts languages have this relative pronoun (See Mr. Du Ponceau's Notes on Eliot's Grammur, p. xx.) and it, therefore, appears strange, that a dialect so closely allied as the Mohegan should be destitute of it. Yet it seems hardly possible, that Dr. Edwards could have been mistaken in this particular.
The same deficiency is found in some of the languages of South America. In the Quichuan (says Torres Rubio)," there is no simple word to express the relative quis or qui.....but the relatives are expressed by the participles,” &c. And Gilij says the same thing of the other side of the continent. Orinokese (says he) know nothing of the relative pronouns who, which, &c. but they nevertheless employ certain expressions instead of them, which very well supply their place. In the Tamanacan they supply the above relatives by the particle manecci; v. g. Pare Cabrut-po manecci patcurbe, the Father
Saggio, &c. pp. 236, 237 and 246. See also Torres Rubio's Arte, &c. pp. 6 and 52. † Saggio, &c. 162.
Arte de la Lengua general del Reyno de Chile, p. 8.
who (or he) is in Cabruta, is good. But sometimes, by a laconism, they employ only the latter part of that word; v. g. Ciongaic pe itegėti Pare nepui necci, what is the name of the Father who is come? “ The Maipuri, instead of the above, make use of the particle ri; v. g. Maisuni-ri caniacàu, tacàu catti-che, he who is bad goes to hell.” *
The Adjectives, and Degrees of Comparison.
Pp. 11, 12
. “ The Mohegans have no adjectives in all their language........ As they have no adjectives, of course they have no comparison of adjectives."
Mr. Zeisberger, in speaking of the Delaware language, expresses himself in more qualified terms: “ There are not many of these [adjectives] because those words, which with us are adjectives, here are verbs ; and, although they are not inflected through all the persons, yet they have tenses. The adjectives, properly so called, end in uwi and owi, and are derived sometimes from substantives and sometimes from verbs. Ex. Genamuwi, grateful, from genam, thanks ; 'wewoatamowi, wise, prudent from wewoatam, to be wise...... There are also adjectives with other terminations; as,
In the languages of South America, also, the verbs serve as adjectives. See Febrès' Grammar of the Language of Chili, p. 29.
On the subject of the comparison of adjectives Edwards observes, that the Mohegans, in order to express degrees of comparison, use an adverb with their verbs that express qualities; of which he gives this example—"annuweeweh wnissoo, he
be is more beautiful."
In the Delaware, also, according to Zeisberger, the degrees are distinguished in a similar manner. The comparative degree is expressed by the word allowiwi (alloweewee, as it would be written in our English orthography) thus : “ Wulit, good; allowiwi wulit, more good, better." MS. Gram. The word allowiwi, it will be observed, is the same with the Mohegan anuweeweh; the letter l of the Delaware being changed (according to the general rule in these two kindred dialects) into n in the Mohegan.
The same mode of expressing this degree of comparison was used in the Massachusetts language; in wbich also the adverb employed for the purpose was substantially the same with those of the Delaware and the Mohegan. "There is (says Eliot) no form of comparison that I can yet finde, but degrees are 'expressed by a word signifying more; as anue menuhkesu, more strong," &c. Gram. p. 15.
In some languages of the other parts of this continent, also, the same thing has been noticed. In the Mexican language (says Gilij) “comparatives are not formed by a new word distinguishable from the positive word, but by the adverb occacci, which signifies more; v. g. In tèuatl occacci tiqualli, thou art more good than he.” Saggio, &c. tom. jïi. p. 230. The same author informs us, that the Orinokese “are entirely destitute of comparatives; and their speech resembles in this respect the Hebrew. Universally, where one person is compared with another, they employ a negative mode of expression, and instead of saying such an one is better than another, they say, such an one is good, and such an one is bad.” Ibid.
166. He makes a similar remark in respect to the language of the province of Cichitto [Chiquito] which is near the middle of South America. Proceeding still farther south, we find the same thing in the language of Chili : “Comparatives (says Father Febrès) are formed by means of the particles yod or doy; v. g. Pu Patiru yon củmey pu Huinca mo, the Fathers
, are better than the Spaniards; or thusPu Huinca cùmey, huelu pu Patiru yoD cùmey, the Spaniards are good, but the Fathers are more good; or thus, by making a verb of yod or doyPu Patiru yodvi cùmegen mo ta pu Huinca; that is, the Fathers are more than, or exceed, the Spaniards in goodness.” *
* Arte de la Lengua, &c. p. 54.
P. 13. “A considerable part of the appellatives are never used without a pronoun affixed,” &c.
Mr. Du Ponceau, in bis interesting Correspondence with Mr. Heckewelder, has the followiny remark upon this passage : “On the subject of the word father, I observe a strange contradiction between two eminent writers on Indian languages evidently derived from the stock of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware. One of them, Roger Williams, in bis Key to the Language of the New England Indians, says 'osh' (meaning probably och or ooch, as the English cannot pronounce the guttural ch) father; NOSH, my father ; KOSH, thy father, &c. On the other hand, the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, in bis Observations on the Language of the Muhhekaneew (Mohican) Indians, speaks as follows—A considerable part of the appellatives are never used without a pronoun affixed. The Mohegans say, my father, nogh (again noch or nooch) thy father, kogh, &c. but they cannot say absolutely father. There is no such word in their language. If you were to say ogh, you would make a Mohegan both stare and smile.' ?" Mr. Du Ponceau then asks," which of these two professors is right?" To which Mr. Heckewelder makes the following reply : “ Notwithstanding Mr. Edwards' observation (for whom I feel the highest respect) I cannot help being of opinion, that the monosyllable ooch is the proper word for father, abstractedly considered, and that it is as proper to say ooch, father, and nooch, my father, as dallemous, beast, and n'dallemous, my beast; or nitschan, child, (or a child) and n’nitschan, my
It is certain, however, that there are few occasions for using these words in their abstract sense, as there are so many ways of associating them with other ideas. Wetoochwink and wetochemuxit both mean the father' in a more definite sense, and wetochemelenk is used in the vocative sense, and means thou our father.' I once heard Captain Pipe, a celebrated Indian chief, address the British commandant at Detroit, and he said, NOOCH ! my father." *
In consequence of this difference of opinion, the Editor, in the course of the last year, addressed a letter on the subject to the Rev. Herman Daggett, the Superintendant of the Foreign Missionary School at Cornwall, in Connecticut. In addition to the Naraganset Vocabulary of Roger Williams, reference was
Correspond. of Mr. Heckewelder and Mr. Du Ponceau, pp. 403 & 411.