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#1 Dec-23-2009 03:43:am

lenape
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Registered: Feb-11-2008
Posts: 1779

A Philological Review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS

A Philological Review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS: THE LEGACY OF THE ALGONQUIN PEOPLE OF NEW YORK, by Evan T. Pritchard, Council Oak Books, San Francisco and Tulsa, 2002 (First Edition), and 2007 (Revised Edition).


Has there ever been a language subjected to so much abuse by pretentious dabblers, as the Lenape language? From Rafinesque's WALAM OLUM (and all its modern-day "translators") to Wenning's HANDBOOK OF THE DELAWARE INDIAN LANGUAGE, charlatans and dilettanti of every kind have had their goes at duping the general public (and sometimes academia!) by their linguistic legerdemain–often with surprising success. Evan T. Pritchard, Professor of Native American Studies at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, has now given us another work in this genre–perhaps the worst yet.


All of these "linguists" have learned that most Lenape words consist of two or more morphemes. Unfortunately, the grammatical rules that intractably govern morpheme boundaries are totally ignored by these "linguists" as they analyze existing words and create new ones. Unfettered by grammar, they "dice and splice" and "cut and paste" to their hearts' delight!


Professor Pritchard has discovered a unique approach. Having learned most of what he knows of Lenape from David Zeisberger's ESSAY OF A DELAWARE-INDIAN AND ENGLISH SPELLING-BOOK (Philadelphia, 1776); wherein he noticed that Zeisberger left a space between the syllables of every word with more than one syllable. Zeisberger's aim in separating syllables was to provide a mnemonic device for learning words by the number of syllables in them. Pritchard, however, has taken these spaces between syllables to be morpheme boundaries! This enables him to produce some very novel forms, to say the least.


In what follows, I will cover an extensive selection of Pritchard's linguistic errors (although, not all of them, by any means). For the most part, I won't deal with his place-name interpretations; for, as wrong as they usually are, he's copying what others (equally unfamiliar with Lenape) have written. Where he offers new "translations" of place-names, some of those will be reviewed. As do all fabricators of Lenape, Pritchard employs his own unsystematic system of orthography, in order to throw potential critics off track.


References to page numbers list those from the hardcover (first) edition, to the left, then those from the paperback (revised) edition, to the right of the virgule.
My remarks are in brackets. I use the Northern Unami orthography of the Moravian missionaries when writing Lenape words, which is a modified version of the German pronunciation of the alphabet.


-------------------------


Page 7 / or 6 - Lenape means "human person." [Lenape = "common man" {from len- ('common') + -ape ('man')}. Pritchard supposes that the word, lenno ('man'), can be shortened to len-, in combining forms. It can't. He thinks lenno can mean "human being," like the English word, "man." It can't. The Lenape word, lenno, can only mean "man," in the sense of "male." P. says that "human person" is how Lenape is usually translated. I don't recall ever having seen this translation anywhere but in P.'s book.]


Page 433, note 12 / or 384, note 13 - Lenape means "we are the people of that water there" - from len- ('human') + nape ('that water there'). [P.'s nape does not mean "that water there" in Lenape. "That water" could be written as ne bi; but these are two separate words. They cannot be combined and used as a suffix on some other root or stem. What's more, the last three letters in ne bi are pronounced differently than the final three letters in Lenape. Finally, "human-that-water-there" is as meaningless in Lenape as it is in English.]

Page 19 / or 17 - Woch-ah-ga-po-ay means "circle" or "hoop," in Munsee. [P. culled this word from Zeisberger's 1776 SPELLING-BOOK, where it is written as Woakagapoae. Why P. changed Z.'s "k" to "ch" is one of the mysteries of P.'s orthography. In any case, Z. glosses the word as "they stand in a Ring, Circle." This is a verb, which carries quite a different sense than P.'s interpretation of the word, as a noun. In truth, the "e," at the end of Z.'s word, was a typographical error (for "c") that Z. corrected in his 1806 SPELLING BOOK, where the word is written as Woakagapoak. Lastly, this word is in the Northern Unami dialect–not in "Munsee."]


Page 20 / or 17 - aneyk mettelen = "humble pathways" [Again using Z.'s first SPELLING-BOOK, P. has found the words, aney ('road,' 'path') and metelensit ('an humble, low man'). From these he concocted the meaningless phrase above. P. has noticed that plural forms, in Z., often end in "-k." So, he pluralizes aney by simply tacking on a "-k" (aneyk). Sadly, aney is an inanimate noun, while final "-k" is used only on animate plurals–and, even then, it must be preceded by a vowel. The correct form would have been aneyall. Z.'s metelensit is a participle meaning "one who is humble." Comparing the Lenape word with Z.'s English gloss, P. takes the etymology to be metelen- ('humble') + -sit ('man'). As usual, he's wrong. The stem is metelensi- ('humble'), while the final "-t" is the 3rd person singular ending of the Conjunct Order.]


Page 20 / or 18 - Lenape Hoking = "Dwelling-Place of the Lenape." [Lenapehoking is a Southern Unami form, and must be written as one word. When written as two words it is Lenapei Haking. P. hasn't a clue regarding the phonological rules applicable to these forms. The expression means "in the land of the Lenape," contrary to P.'s translation.]


Page 27 / or 24 - Lenape Seepu = "River of the Lenape." [The correct Northern Unami form would be Lennapewi Sipo. Heckewelder says it was called Lenapewihittuck, in his time (late 1700's to early 1800's).]


*Page 28 / or 24 - Moo-wha-pink-us = "possum" or "he has no fur on his tail." [P. has taken Z's muchwoapingus ('opossum'), changed the spelling to suit himself, and supplied us with this bizarre etymology. Muchwoapingus denotes "big white face little one." It has nothing to do with "no fur on his tail"!] *[In the revised edition P. now adds that "little white face" is an alternative derivation for "Wa-pink-us."]


Page 30 / or 26 - Susquehanna = "water crossing the great plain," in Iroquois. [This is, of course, an Algonquian word meaning "muddy stream."]


Page 30 / or 27 - Wyoming = "water crossing the great plain," in Lenape. [Wyoming is an anglicized form of the Lenape name, "chwewamunk" ('at the extensive river flats').]


Page 53 / or 47 - aaney talika = "the way of the heron." [Talleka means "crane." "Heron" is kaachq'. P.'s form is ungrammatical, anyway.]


Page 55 / or 48 - gitschach summen = "enlightened," in Unami. [Z. lists gischachsummen ('enlighten'). This is not a passive form. It must have an animate subject and inanimate object.]


Pages 78-79 / or 69 - Minetta = "evil spirit" or "snake water," in Lenape. [This place-name for a brook is probably manitto ('spirit-being'). It contains no semantic elements denoting "evil," "snake" or "water."]


Pages 82-83 / or 72 - Chey-ee-noo-tay-sis = "shoulder bag woman." [P. has come across chauchschisis ('an old woman'), in Z., and deduced, wrongly, that the final syllable, -sis, means "woman." Seeing that Z. listed cheyinutey ('saddle-bag'), it only remained for P. to adapt the word to his spelling "system," alter the meaning of cheyinutey to suit his purpose, and tack on his erroneous "woman" suffix (-sis). In fact, the -sis ending is really a double diminutive suffix.]


Page 90 / or 79 - schachack geeay = "straight road." [Z. has schachachki ('straight') and aney ('road'). P. dropped the first two letters of aney and suffixed the remainder onto schachachki, then converted the result to his own extraordinary phonetic spelling. The product is nonsense.]


Page 93 / or 81 - gunt-a-woagan = "peaceful." [There is no such word in Lenape. "Peace" is langundowoagan. Why P. thought that eliminating the first three letters of this word would produce a form meaning "peaceful" defeats me.]


Page 440, note 7 / or 393, note 7 - Citing Z.'s first SPELLING-BOOK, P. says Auchsu means "in the wild," and wiki means "home" or "where you live." [This endnote is in support of P.'s interpretation of the place-name, Wikison, which he says means "homes in the wilderness" (pp.97-9 / or 87). The only difficulty lies in the fact that Z. (P.s source) doesn't say what P. says Z. says! Z. lists Auchsu, with the meaning, "wild (creature) hard to deal with." It does not mean "wilderness" or "in the wild." Z. lists wikhe ('to build a house') and wikit ('his house'). There is no mention of P.'s wiki in Z.]


Page 133 / or 119 - Tschee-tah-nee = "strength." [Tschittani means "strong." Tschitanissowoagan is "strength."]


Page 144 / or 128 - pee-moh and pee-mook mean "sweating" and "going to the sweat lodge," respectively. [P.attributes these words to Z., but the first is not found in Z., and the second is an imperative form ("Go sweat!" - you/plural).]


Page 166 / or 145 - k'mo'hok ki'coy = "hungry moon." [P. has found this form from Speck & Moses, THE CELESTIAL BEAR COMES DOWN TO EARTH, page 28; but, he didn't bother to learn Speck's phonetic alphabet. The "c" in ki'coy is pronounced like the "sh" in English "hush." And, what P. took for a "y" is actually the Greek letter, chi, which is pronounced like "ch" in German "bach."]


Page 193 / or 168 - hutsch = second person singular, in Munsee. [The word, hatsch, is merely a particle used to indicate that a question is being asked. It refers to neither person nor number.]


*Page 198 / or 171 - ah-ha, in the expression, Kehl-ah-ha? ("Oh, really?), means "really." [The expression is Kehella ha? ("Indeed?"). The word, ha, is just another question particle.] *[In the revised edition, this is gone. P. now says that "keh-la-wak" = "keh-la" ("for") + "wak" ("sure"). This, too, is incorrect.]


Page 200 / or 174 - Leenkway geek = "Look at him." [P. saw the word, Linquechin ("to look at a thing"), in Z. Because Z. separated the word into syllables (Lin que chin), P. thought the word had three semantic elements. He must have figured they meant "Look at thing." Thereupon, he drops the last syllable, to get "Look at." P. says geek = "him" (p.219 - first edition). I suspect he arrived at this by examining Z.'s word, Amentschimellachgik ("those who praise him")–equating the final syllable, -gik, with the final word in Z.'s gloss ("him"). But, Z.'s -gik is only part of an archaic conjunct suffix, "-ellachgik," which indicates a third person plural subject acting on a second person singular object ('those who praise thee'). Thus, Z.'s translation, in 1776, was a mistake! Z. corrected this error in his 1806 Spelling Book.]


Page 200 / or 175 - wal-un-day-yoo = "a warm day," and is probably imitative of English "warm day." [Wulandeu means only that there is "warm weather." There is no part of this word which means "day." A similar Lenape (not English!) word is kschilandeu ("very hot weather").]


Pages 200-201 / or 174-175 - ay-yoo = "he, she or it is." [This is P.'s way of writing (and pronouncing) the word ending spelled "-eu" by Z. P. is unaware that Z.'s "u," in these words, is pronounced like a whispered voiceless "w." This leads him to the incredible idea that the New York slang expression, "Ay, you!," was derived from this Lenape word ending!]


Page 206 / or 179 - Ay-dja-djan wah-nee-shee = "Wherever you go, may the way be beautiful for you." [The first word in this fabricated expression is P.'s phonetic spelling of Z.'s "ejajan" ('where you {sg.} go'). The j's are actually pronounced like English y's--not English j's! The second word is an exclamatory particle of joy, generally glossed as "Thanks!" It neither denotes nor connotes the phrase attributed to it, here, by P.]


Page 206 / or 180 - gee-tchee-toon = "one's final destination." [Z.'s gischitoon means "it is done, finished." I can't account for P.'s eccentric first "t," or his interpretation.]


Page 207 / or 180 - nay-ta = "a" or "one." [Maybe, P. saw Z.'s word, netammi ("first"), and thought he could extract a cardinal number from what he saw as an ordinal number by dropping the last three letters. You can't.]


Pages 210-213 / or 183-185 - "You and I Are Like Water" ("In Unami and English"). [These Pages exhibit P.'s prowess as a Lenape poet. This section is particularly horrid. Here are the problems:]


woch = woak ("and"). [P.'s "-ch" is inexplicable.]


m'bi ("water") = umpee. [This is incorrect. The apostrophe is a schwa vowel and the "b" is pronounced like "b" in English "boy."]


*coos = "pine trees." [Not in Lenape. "Pine trees" are cuwewak in Northern Unami.] *["koos" in the revised edition. It's still wrong.]


tchupik = "rooted." [Tschuppik is a noun meaning "a root." It can't be used as a verb, like this.]


tekenuk = "forests." [Z.'s Tekene ("woods") is a genderless noun-like particle which takes no plural suffix, though P. tries to put an animate plural suffix on it.]


*achsuanl = "stones." [This should be achsinnall.] *[The revised edition has "achsunal," which is better, but still incorrect when using P.'s own stated orthography on pp.383-384 / or 342-343.]

ni-wachtschuk = "our mountains." [The word, ni, means "I" or "my." Once again, P. tries, ungrammatically, to put an animate suffix on an inanimate word]


wachtschu ("mountains"). [This should be wachtschuwall.]


chasquaysem = "corn." ["Corn" is chasquim. P.'s word is gibberish.]


nihakki = "our soil." [This looks like ni hakki ("I am the earth").]


*m'bit = "water." [There is no Lenape word, "m'bit," meaning "water."] *[Corrected to "m'bi" in the revised edition.]


alinaquat = "we are like." [Elinaquot really means "as it appears" or "what it looks like."]


Gilunoo = "we." [Kiluna means "we (inclusive)." This spelling is incorrect.]


matta'tschupik hakki = "no earthly roots." [The words used mean "no," "root" and "earth," respectively. P.'s translation is impossible.]


achtschin messochwi = "we must keep running." [P. found achtschingi ("I must") in Z., and missochwe ("to run about"), from which he created this unintelligible phrase.]


*sheepoos = "tiny streams." [Not in Unami. Northern Unami has both sipotittall and tanghannewall. Munsee would be schiposchall.] *["eseepoosh" in the revised edition. This is worse.]


messachwe = "running downhill." [Here P. uses the same word (Z.'s missochwe) that he said, previously, meant "keep running!" He alters the spelling a little bit, here. There is nothing in this word which would indicate "downhill."]


mogowoa gitchitoon = "no one knows where we end up." [On Page 206 / or 180, P. said the second word (spelled differently there) means "one's final destination." He was wrong there, and he's wrong here. It certainly doesn't mean "where we end up." The first word is non-existent, in Lenape. It apparently incorporates the syllable, woa-, from Z.'s woahan ("to know somebody"). The first syllable "might" be an aberration of Munsee, mah ("no," "not").]


Delli tchanindewoagan = "what's the difference." [Delli means "I, myself" or "that I," to me. Tschanindewoagan means "difference," in the sense of "disagreement." So, this says, "that I am a disagreement."]


Mochwa = "Nothing" or "no." [This evidently comes from P.'s mistaken belief that Muchwoapingus ("opossum") means "no fur on his tail." He must take the "Muchwoa-" part to mean "no" or "nothing." It didn't mean that to any Lenape speaker!]


achtchin aan = "we must leave." [As we saw above, achtchin is not a real word. Z. gives aan ("to go"), but "we go" is n'daneen (subordinative mode).]


al = "like." [This should be eli, which means "as," not "like."]


pimuchquayo wachtschuk pee-etchookw = "we are turned from these mountains by changing winds." [Allowing P.'s orthographical, phonetic and grammatical errors, here, this actually says, "it is twisted, mountains, he is blown here by the wind."]


mo-ma-tschil = "can't go home." [P. has combined a hitherto unknown root, mo ("can't"), with Z.'s matschil--an imperative form meaning "Go home (you/singular)," to produce this gem.]


tchanind seepoo = "different rivers." [Tchanind is another of those words P. created by truncating one of Z.'s words--in this case, Tschanindewoagan ("difference," "disagreement"). His method is preposterous. Sipo ("river" or "creek") is singular, not plural.]


ootchitchan = "inside." [This is a truncated version of Z.'s Wtschitschanquiwi ("spiritual"). I leave his reasoning, on this one, to your imagination.]


kiluna linaquot = "we are the same." [These words really mean, "we it looks like."]


Ktehena pachat tachan = "our hearts split like wood." [These words say, "our heart, it is split, a piece of wood." The word for "heart" is animate in Lenape. It can't be used with the Inanimate Intransitive verb, pachat.]


gisch kschummen milach = "we cut our hair in mourning." [In truth, these words say, "you (singular) cut hair (or 'a hair') with a knife." There is nothing here which conveys the meaning, "in mourning."]


Giluna pomsi = "we walk." [Pomsi is an imperative form: "Walk (you/singular)."]


Delli aan = "where will I go." [His words mean "that I go." Thus, we come to the end of P.'s poem.]


*Page 219 / or 188-189 - Weckweesgeek = "people of the birch bark," from weekwee ("birch") and geek ("him"). [P.'s weekwee must be wiquey, which meant "birch bark" in Munsee. For geek, see my comments on his Page 200 / or 174. This place-name is often written as Weckquaesgeek, and it probably means "the end of the swamp."] *[In the revised edition, P. interpret's this placename as "place of shallow water over yonder to the west" and "at the end of the principle place (by the water)" (pp.188-189 and 191) Both are simply absurd.]


Page 226 / or 197 - Laan = "peace." ["Peace" is langundowoagan. P.'s word is inexplicable.]


Pages 229 & 454, note 1 / or 201 & 407, note 1 - Waoranecks = "they are good, peaceful people," from the r-dialect equivalent of Munsee woo-lay ("good," "peaceful," "beautiful") + neck ("those" or "they" in Munsee--according to John O'Meara's dictionary). [O'Meara lists the word, neek, a pronoun meaning "those" (but not "they"). This word cannot be suffixed to another word stem. I would suggest the place-name is from Wawulach'nek ("a very fine stream" - e.g., one without rapids) + the European pluralizer, "-s," to designate the people living there.]


Page 453, note 45 / or 407, note 50 - Sepasco or Sepascot = "little river." [Not in any Lenape dialect with which I'm familiar. It's schiposch in Munsee--in whose territory this place is located.]

Page 454, note 2 / or 408, note 2 - wongkong = "place near a mountain," in Munsee. [P. refers us to O'Meara's dictionary, again. Once again, no such form is listed there!]


Page 230 / or 202 - quaotuk watchu = "cedar cliff" in Renneiu. [Renneiu appears to be P.'s name for the r-dialect Munsee spoken in western Long Island, New York. I've never seen the word, quaotuk, in Lenape. "Cedar" is shundakw in O'Meara's dictionary. Watchu means "mountain" or "hill," not "cliff."]


Page 455, note 9 / or 408, note 9 - The ending, ayoo, means "they are." [This is the same ending which P. wrote as ay-yoo, before. On Page 200 / or 174-175, he said it means "he, she or it is." It certainly doesn't mean "they are;" and, it is not pronounced this way.]


Page 232 / or 208 - The endings, unk and kong, mean "place near a mountain." The "k" (?in kong) means "this place." [Both unk and ong, in place-names, represent the underlying Lenape locative ending (connective vowel + -ng), meaning "in," "on," "at," etc. There is no suffix, -kong. There is nothing in this suffix denoting or connoting "near a mountain" or "this."]


Page 244 / or 214 - Ponckhockie means "land where there are a lot of annoying bugs or sand flies." [P.'s interpretation imitates Heckewelder's interpretation of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. In fact, Ponckhockie probably means "dust land" or "land of ashes."]


Page 247 / or 217 - pom'pey-leew = "it is a stream," in Munsee. [John O'Meara lists pumaapuwehleew ("it flows by," "it flows along" {of water}). I suppose this is a word P. collected from Munsee speakers in Canada, but he wasn't able to pick up all the sounds and syllables in it.]


Page 458, note 16 / or 411, note 18 - Captain Pipe was also known as "seeker of light." [This is a curious stretch! Pipe was called Kogieshquanoheel ("Causer of Daylight") because he stayed awake all night, once, ardently wishing for the dawn, impatient to engage in a battle. P. would have us believe that Pipe was searching for enlightenment, like a desert monk!]


Pages 248 & 458, note 17 / or 217 & 411, note 19 - Shawangunk "clearly means 'the mountains where you go south' in plain 'baby talk' Lenape"–from shawaneu ("south") + aan ("go") + gunk ("near or on the side of a mountain"). [Absolute balderdash! This place-name means "in the smoky air," from schawank ("smoky air") + -unk ("in").]


Pages 251 & 458, note 27 / or 219 & 412, note 29 - Ashokan = "where waters converge," or "outlet of a stream," or "a strong mountainside rapids" (from Acho ("it is strong, hard or difficult" + kan ("-ness"). [This place-name is likely Munsee, aashookaan ("there is walking in the water"). It refers, perhaps, to a ford. P. forgets that Z.'s "ch" is pronounced like the Greek letter, chi. The proper abstract nominalizer is -akan, NOT -kan; but it is irrelevant to this name, anyway.]


*Page 252 / or 220 - Xwa-tchee-len-oo = "Big Eagle" or "Big Shot," depending on the inflection. [This is Munsee, xwachi-lunuw ("big man"). I don't see how this can be "big eagle," no matter how it is "inflected."]


Pages 259 & 460, note 49 / or 226 & 413, note 54 - aioska = "buck's horns," in Munsee–from aiap-ayoo ("it is a buck") + osxum-mo-wall ("horns"). [P. refers the reader to O'Meara's dictionary for these words, none of which are to be found there! Ajapeu ("a buck") and Oschummowall ("horns") are found in Zeisberger's first SPELLING-BOOK. These words cannot be chopped up and mashed together to form aioska. As seen already, the "u" in ajapeu is pronounced as a whispered voiceless "w"–not as "yoo." In addition, the "sch" in oschummowall is the "sh" in English "hush;" not "s" + Greek chi! Finally, oschummowall ("horns") is Unami–not Munsee.]


Pages 460-461, note 2 / or 414, note 2 - Tappan is possibly a word of Central American origin--like the Tepanecs of Mexico. [No comment!!!]


Page 464, note 25 / or 418, note 40 - Aptun = "he speaks," in Mohican. [Not quite. "He speaks" is aptonau ("u" = voiceless "w").]


Page 301 / or 265 - The personal name, Kaelcop, "is distinctly South American in flavor." [Kaelcop is a Dutch nickname. It means "bald-head."]


Page 345 / or 307 - Minisink = "Place of the Munsees" or "Island of the Munsees." [This place-name pre-dates the name, Munsee, by more than a century. It probably means simply "at the island."]


Page 352 / or 313 - Kittanning ("Place on the Great River") and Kittatinny have similar meanings. [No. Kittatinny means "big mountain."]


Page 376 / or 335 - Wojak means "woodchuck," in Lenape. ["Woodchuck" is monachgeu, in Lenape–not wojak.]


Page 377 / or 336 - Ponksad means "sand flies." [In Northern Unami, "sand flies" is ponksak. There isn't any "d" in it.]


[Pages 385-390 / 344-349 contain the Munsee vocabulary P. collected in Ontario. It's riddled with so many errors, I'm not going to cover all of them, here; but, here are some examples:]
wess = "animal." [This might be "awessis," misunderstood.]


kwal-wess = "fox." [O'Meara gives xwaaluwees.]


kwal = "big tail." [The previous word, for "fox," denotes "big tail." Kwal has no meaning.]


sheek-weao = "ducks." [wshihweewak is "ducks," in Munsee.]


shee-weh-wuk = "geese." [This is actually P.'s attempt to write the plural for "ducks." "Geese" would be waapsuwihleewak.]


esh-ko(n)-mai = "tail." [This is P.'s attempt to write wshukwunay ("tail").]


wheep = "bow" ("hunting bow"). [This word means "an arrow" or "his arrow." "Bow" is mataht, in Munsee.]


Enough!


Besides linguistics, Professor Pritchard expounds on the archaeology, prehistory, history, religion and culture of the Lenape and other New York Algonquians in his book; and, his exposition of those subjects equals, in every respect, his efforts with the Lenape language.


I would not have spent so much time on this particular work, if it wasn't for the fact that Pritchard has been touting this work as a text for students in the New York public school system; and, because he has received a certain amount of academic and American Indian imprimaturs for this book. The widespread dissemination and acceptance of this silly nonsense will be difficult to stop once it's on the library shelves.


Pritchard has now pubished a "Lenape Phrase Book," replete with errors. And, he's planning works on Shinnecock and other Algonquian languages, as well. Heaven help us!


Raymond Whritenour
LENAPE TEXTS & STUDIES



A Non-Review of Introductory Guide To Lenape Indian Words And Phrases, by Evan T. Pritchard, Resonance Communications, Woodstock, NY, 2003.


Like archaeology, the study of an area's indigenous language provides us with a window into prehistory. For New Jersey, there is only one such language--the one we call Lenape, or Delaware. It is the language that was spoken, right here, for millennia. Unlike some of the Eastern Algonquian languages, which survive only in small, fragmentary vocabularies, Lenape has been extensively recorded, in three major dialects. By its survival, our State has been endowed with a rich cultural treasure. Because of this, it pains me to see this beautiful ancient tongue distorted and twisted into an almost unrecognizable gibberish, in the hands of Evan T. Pritchard, Professor of Native American History and Culture, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, who has now foisted upon us his latest creation: Introductory Guide to Lenape Indian Words and Phrases, Resonance Communications, Woodstock, NY, 2003.


I call this a "non-review," because I am not going to dignify this work with a full critique. I would just like readers to be forewarned. This book contains many hundreds of words, supposedly Lenape, 90% of which are assigned the wrong pronunciation. Out of some 360 words he culled from John O'Meara's Delaware-English/English-Delaware Dictionary, I counted, in a quick scan, 60 which were translated incorrectly by Pritchard – even though he only had to copy the correct meanings from O'Meara's work! Finally, the author lists 40 Unami "root words," NONE of which actually exist! He simply made them up!


Pritchard's book, Native New Yorkers, is the worst book ever written about the Lenape Indians; and now he has given us the worst book ever written about the Lenape language. Please don't waste your money on this trash (unless you want a good laugh--or cry).


Raymond Whritenour
LENAPE TEXTS & STUDIES

Edited to reformat for easier reading, anishi Sschkaak!

Last edited by lenape (Dec-23-2009 04:19:am)

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#2 Dec-23-2009 04:22:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 2640

Re: A Philological Review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS

Many, many thanks for retrieving this review, which I consider my most important, since Pritchard is still taken seriously by some academics and Indians, alike.  It's a sad state of affairs.

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#3 Dec-23-2009 04:35:am

lenape
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Registered: Feb-11-2008
Posts: 1779

Re: A Philological Review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS

sschkaak wrote:

Many, many thanks for retrieving this review, which I consider my most important, since Pritchard is still taken seriously by some academics and Indians, alike.  It's a sad state of affairs.

Did you ever review, or see, his book "Introductory Guide to Lenape Words and Phrases: including expressions from both Unami and Munsee Dialects"?  It is 93 pages of his interpretation of the Delaware Languages, unfortunately it is meant to be in the Northern Unami and Munsee both of which I know just the basics, if even that, so I could not offer a review, however the little bit of grammar that is in there is not accurate from my understanding, but should you want to see it, if you have not, let me know.

He also did another called "More Micmac Words and Phrases", but I am not Micmac so I have no business speaking about weather it is accurate or not, but should a "Micmac" wanna review it I would share it!

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#4 Dec-23-2009 04:42:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 2640

Re: A Philological Review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS

My "non-review" of his book, Introductory Guide To Lenape Indian Words And Phrases, appears as a short appendix to the review posted above.  What a waste of paper that book is!  To this day, this work is NOT listed among his publications, though he continues to sell copies of it at his "shows."

Last edited by sschkaak (Dec-23-2009 04:55:am)

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#5 Dec-23-2009 01:51:pm

lenape
Member
Registered: Feb-11-2008
Posts: 1779

Re: A Philological Review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS

lenape wrote:

A Non-Review of Introductory Guide To Lenape Indian Words And Phrases, by Evan T. Pritchard, Resonance Communications, Woodstock, NY, 2003.


Like archaeology, the study of an area's indigenous language provides us with a window into prehistory. For New Jersey, there is only one such language--the one we call Lenape, or Delaware. It is the language that was spoken, right here, for millennia. Unlike some of the Eastern Algonquian languages, which survive only in small, fragmentary vocabularies, Lenape has been extensively recorded, in three major dialects. By its survival, our State has been endowed with a rich cultural treasure. Because of this, it pains me to see this beautiful ancient tongue distorted and twisted into an almost unrecognizable gibberish, in the hands of Evan T. Pritchard, Professor of Native American History and Culture, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, who has now foisted upon us his latest creation: Introductory Guide to Lenape Indian Words and Phrases, Resonance Communications, Woodstock, NY, 2003.


I call this a "non-review," because I am not going to dignify this work with a full critique. I would just like readers to be forewarned. This book contains many hundreds of words, supposedly Lenape, 90% of which are assigned the wrong pronunciation. Out of some 360 words he culled from John O'Meara's Delaware-English/English-Delaware Dictionary, I counted, in a quick scan, 60 which were translated incorrectly by Pritchard – even though he only had to copy the correct meanings from O'Meara's work! Finally, the author lists 40 Unami "root words," NONE of which actually exist! He simply made them up!


Pritchard's book, Native New Yorkers, is the worst book ever written about the Lenape Indians; and now he has given us the worst book ever written about the Lenape language. Please don't waste your money on this trash (unless you want a good laugh--or cry).


Raymond Whritenour
LENAPE TEXTS & STUDIES

I missed it, there is a lot of absorb there, anishi Sschkaak!

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#6 Dec-24-2009 02:47:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 2640

Re: A Philological Review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS

A short review of NATIVE NEW YORKERS, at Amazon:

This is, absolutely, the worst book ever written about the Lenape Indians. It is full of uncorroborated statements, gross errors of fact, bizarre assertions, and linguistic gibberish. There is almost no statement regarding the language, history or religion of the Lenape Indians which bears any resemblance to the findings of any linguist, ethnohistorian, anthropologist or archaeologist who ever wrote anything on these subjects. The "Unami Delaware" poem, on pages 210-213, uses words NEVER known to any Lenape speaker! There is almost nothing in this book to recommend it.

Raymond Whritenour
LENAPE TEXTS & STUDIES

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