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American journal of philology, Volume 21
By Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, Charles William Emil Miller, Project Muse, Benjamin Dean Meritt, Tenney Frank
V.— NOTES ON THE MODERN MINSI-DELAWARE DIALECT.
The story of the enforced westward wanderings of the ill-fated Lenape1 has been told in detail by Brinton (The Lenape and Their Legends, pp. 122-6).
At the present day this famous tribe, whose three clans — the Minsi, the Unami, and the Unalachtigo' — were once the dominant native race in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and parts of New York State, is represented by but a few bands living on scattered reservations — some in Indian Territory and some in Ontario, Canada. The Delawares of Indian Territory have quite lost their identity as a tribe of Indians, as they have been incorporated with the Cherokee Nation, by whose chief and council they are governed. The last recognized Delaware chief of this division of the tribe was Charles Jurney-cake (Qy. Johnny-cake?), whose daughters are now married to white men. These Indians occupy lands in the Muskogee Agency situated in the northwestern part of the Cherokee Nation. There are still about eight hundred Delawares in this region, all of whom moved to the Cherokee country from Kansas, in I8&7.3 I am informed that a few members of the race linger on at New Westfield, near Ottawa, Kansas, most of whom are under the charge of the Moravian Church.
In Ontario, Canada, there are only about three hundred in all, e. g. one hundred at Hagersville, on the Six Nations' (Iroquois) Reserve (Chief Nelles Montour), one hundred at Munceytown,
'a male,' from lenno 'man'-f-a/*, e. g. a man par excellence, 'a man of our tribe.' See Brinton, pp. 34-5, and Prince, Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc., Dec. 1899, p. 1 86.
'Brinton, p. 36, gives the following derivations: Minsi from minthiti. 'be scattered ' -J- ac hsin 'stone.' Unami 'people down the river,' from naheu ' down-stream ' ; cf. Abn. nahiwi. Unalachtigo (mod. Wonalatoko) ' people who live near the ocean,' from wunalawat 'go towards' and t'kow ' wave.' With achsin cf. Abn. asm, sen 'stone,' and with tkow cf. Abn. tcgo 'wave' and the termination -tekw ' river.'
* I am indebted for this information to Mr. Dew M. Wisdom, formerly Indian Agent at Muskogee, I. T.
and the same number at Moraviantown, which is the seat of a Moravian mission.1 The Canadian Delawares are all Protestants, belonging, for the most part, either to the Church of England or to the Moravians.
Brinton (op. cit., pp. 91 ff.) has pointed out the chief differences between the two ancient dialects of the Lenape, viz. the UnamiUnalachtigo and the Minsi. Of these, the Minsi is spoken by all the Canadian Delawares. In this connection, however, it is interesting to note that in a letter to Dr. Brinton, dated Moraviantown, 1884, Chief Gottlieb Tobias* states that three aged persons were then living who could still talk the other dialect. It is evident that most of the Delawares of I. T. use the Unami-Unalachtigo, as Chief Montour, of Hagersville, Ont., writes that, when he visited the Cherokee settlement of his race some years ago, he could only understand with difficulty the speech of his congeners resident there. On the other hand, he asserts that the Delawares near Ottawa, Kansas, use pure Minsi.
The following sentences and letter should be of interest to the student of Algic languages, as they represent the Minsi dialect as at present in use among the Delawares of Ontario. They were written for me, together with other material—all without grammatical comment—by Chief Nelles Montour, of Hagersville, Ont., a highly intelligent and well-educated Indian. The rather cumbrous phonetic system which he follows, while perhaps unsatisfactory from a strictly scientific point of view, is still perfectly clear and consistent. Instead of using the German notation as adopted by the Moravian missionaries, which is yet in vogue among the Delawares who belong to that Church, he spells entirely in the English style, as do all his nation who are members of the Church of England.
The following important points with regard to the pronunciation of the Delaware words cited from him should be noted: i. Medial and final h is not an aspirate, but merely a pause. 2. The combination ng is pronounced like ng in 'king.' 3. The combination rh is a deep guttural kh, almost gh. R has not existed in Len&pe since the days of the early Swedish colony in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (see Brinton, Lenape, p. 96). It is now represented by L A similar change has taken place in the Abenaki idiom, as may be seen by comparing the ancient dictionary of Rasle with
1 This is the estimate of Chief Nelles Montour, of Hagersville, Ont. 1 Op. cit., p. 88.
the modern dialects. 4. Final q is pronounced like -kw, the w being whistled with a faint succeeding vowel. 5. Th is invariably soft as in 'with.' This sound is not indicated by the Moravians, who represent it simply by s, which rarely ever occurs. Their x, then, is really kth, 6. Initial w immediately preceding a consonant, like the same sound in Passamaquoddy, is followed by a short and unclear vowel similar to the Hebrew sA'va mobile. 7. Final w, as in the syllable -tho-w, should be sounded very gently. 8. Wh is a guttural combination composed of w + kh. g. The vowel i before / or sA is a thick, unclear vowel merging into the sonant consonant. 10. The apostrophe (') indicates a very short u. n. The vowels are pronounced exactly as in English.
I have not followed the syllabic division in Montour's manuscript, as this frequently obscures the composition and derivation of the words, which I have endeavored to indicate wherever possible, both by a comparison with the older dialect of the German missionaries (styled O.D. = Old Delaware) and with the kindred Algic idioms of the Abenakis and Passamaquoddies.
In the Abenaki words here given, note that n = French nasal n and that the inverted apostrophe (') is a gentle guttural voicestop like the Semitic 'Ayin. The vowels should be pronounced as in Italian and the consonants as in English, except k, t, p, which are voiceless tenues, and/, which has two pronunciations, e. g. is" before e and i, and dsh before a, o and «.
i. Unisheek quawpunurheen joh (pi. jothuK), O.D. Anischik Kwoapanachin n'ischu 'Thanks for your morning, my friend (good morning).' Woapanachin is a participial formation containing woapaneu 'morning,' lit. 'the whitening (of the dawn).' The root woap- really means 'white.' Thus, woap-aschapi-all 'white beads' (-a/I is the inanimate plural ending), woapanikcn 'lime.' Compare Abn. wonbi- 'white' and wonban 'daybreak,' whence the terms Del. Wapanakhki, Abn. WonbancCki 'land (also inhabitant) of the East,' applied to all the eastern Algic tribes.1 Joh should be n'j'oA, like n'tschu. It is the same stem as
1 There can be no doubt that this word means ' inhabitant of the East,1 as the Abenakis use it in this sense; also nibena'ki 'land of the South' and 'Southerner,' from niben ' summer' -\-a'ki 'land.' See, however, Brinton, p. 256.
4. Nweengahtumin dullahween waukah numathhan ' I like to hunt better than to fish.' Nweengahtumin: N' = '!' -\-weengah 'like' (see above) +tum, inanimate ending (cf. Abn. n'namfton 'I see it'), + -in, definite ending as above. Dullahween 'that I hunt' is for O.D. nd-allauwin (cf. elawit 'hunter') with -dinserted before the vowel. The n suffix shows the subjunctive.
Waukah •= wauk, O.D. woak 'and' +ah, the sign of negation. Cf. Abn. ondaki 'than,' from onda 'not' + the particle -ki. Numathhan 'that I fish': n'-\-numath-\-kan, subjunctive. With numath 'fish' cf. O.D. names, Abn. namas, from Vam-onm, seen, for example, in onmawonmuk 'one fishes," nd-aman ' 1 fish.' With this whole phrase cf. Abn. npamaldamen n'nadialin ondaki ndaman; Pass. Nolimusajin ng'donkan kddik nd-aman.
5. Keeshahuhkeendumin ayleerhtheyun 'you can read your language.' Keeshah stands for k' 'you' -\-keeshah 'can' (cf. Prince, Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc., Dec. 1899, p. 186). Uhkeen-= O.D. achgin and -dum = O.D. -dam. The ending -in, as above, is definite. In O.D. the whole form would be achgindamen, in Abn. agidamen. This stem tj achgi-agi is undoubtedly allied with a'gakim 'learn, teach' (see above).
The following short letter in modern Minsi will illustrate further the peculiar construction and the vocabulary of the language:
Ahwaulilunjoth:—kutuhlilin My dear friend:—I will tell
alaulowyon talli Canada kohpe you about my hunting in Can
tuckquauqua. Yooluk Pontiac ada last autumn. I went to
ooiani Quebec Wsheepwa oota- Pontiac County, Quebec, in the
nang. Nihluh neeshwuk moo- Ojibway country. I killed two
Ihuk. Weetuhwamuk oomba moose. My wife also killed
nihla myaulhowhwah wlithoo. a good one. The hunting is
Ahpwutahloweennihtalliwauk good there and the fishing is
ahwih numaihihka. even better.
Ne kjoth. I am your friend.
With the root ahwaul cf. O.D. ahoalan 'to love some one." Ahwaulilun is a participle with the ending -il, indicating the ist person, and -un, the characteristic participial termination. Kutuhlilin may be analyzed thus: k' 'you' +t infixed before a vowel + uhl' tell' (Abn. Kit' tell me') + -il' I' + the definite -in. Alaulowyon : Al, prefix / with vowel, as above in Abn. l-ond'wa-a, + aulowee 'hunt' +yon, ist pers. partie, ending. Tuckqututqua — O.D. iachquoak 'autumn.' The ending -qua (O.D. -que) shows the past relation; cf. Abn. iagwongo 'autumn,' tagwongwa 'last autumn,' tagwohgwiga 'next autumn' (Minsi tachquogike).
Yooluk 'I went' (cf. aal, Len. Diet., p. 9, 2). Ooiani 'district, country,' usually 'a town'; cf. Abn. odana, Pass, utene. In ootanang, -ang is the regular locative ending nasalized as in the 'Algonquin'1 and Ojibway. In Abn. and Pass, this appears as -k ; cf. odanak, utenek. ' I killed two moose' would be in Abn. n'nihlon nizoak monzak.
Weetukwamuk (witawemaK) 'my wife,' lit. 'the one who lives with me,' e. g. 'my house-mate.' There is no sexual gender in the Algic languages. Cf. Abn. nizwiak 'my wife,' from ntz'two' and wi-wig 'live,' seen in k'wigin 'you live,' wigwam 'house,' etc. Myauthowhivah 'one' (animate) is cognate with O.D. mejauchsit. Wlithoo contains the adjective wli 'good' as in Abn., and Pass. Numaihihka contains numath 'fish' and ihka (ike) ' there are plenty ' ; cf. Abn. namasika ' there are many fish.' Finally, to illustrate the divergence between the older Delaware of the missionaries and the modern Minsi, I give the Lord's Prayer in both dialects, as well as in the Abenaki and Passamaquoddy. Many of the differences between the O.D. and modern Minsi are due to the fact that the older version is not in pure Minsi, but in a mixed dialect, half Unami-Unalachtigo and half Minsi.
The Lord's Prayer.
O.D.1: Ki wetochemelenk* talli epian awossagame. Mod. Minsi4: Nuchwenah aipyun ahwossaukumawh.
Thou our Father, there dwelling beyond the clouds.
Machelendasutsch ktellewunsowagan. K'sakimowagan peyeWhaerhlindahsowitch kitisheenzwaukun. Kekiyoowaukun payaPraised be Thy name. Thy kingdom come
lThe 'Algonquin' tribe is a branch of the Ojibways. The 'Algonquins' had their headquarters in former days at Oka (Lac des Deux Montagnes), near Montreal, but are now scattered through eastern Canada.
* The text of the O.D. version is quoted from Heckewelder's Indian Nations, pp. 424 ff.
'This is a participial form; lit. 'he who is father to u».' Cf. Ojibway Tvtyusemeguyun.
* Taken from ' The Book of Common Prayer in Munsee.'