Woodland Indians Forum

You are not logged in.

Announcement

#1 Jun-19-2016 10:07:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Lenape (Unami) Speakers

He,

I've been interested in the Lenape language for some time now. I've also read quite a few posts here about Shelley DePaul's work on language revitalization. But before anybody goes on the rampage again, I have a few questions. smile

- How many Unami speakers are there at present? As I understand it, Nora Thompson was the last native speaker, making it more or less an extinct language. That being said, there are many Lenape and Munsee groups out there (some apparently with questionable genuine Lenape heritage, but I digress). I've heard that Munsee still has a few native speakers left up in Ontario? My main question is how many people speak the language to some degree when you look at all the Lenape groups together? And are there any children growing up with Lenape natively?

- Concerning resources for learning Lenape (which by default is almost always Southern Unami?), I am aware of Shelley DePaul's textbook but not of many other resources (besides the Talk Lenape website). Unfortunately, DePaul doesn't use any accents whatsoever, making the phonetics quite difficult. I've also heard of people on this forum talk about her "DePaul" dialect? Without ushering in WWIII here, could someone elaborate a bit on that? ^^

So, I guess I only really had two questions. I appreciate the help! Wanishi!

Offline

 

#2 Jun-19-2016 10:13:am

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11149

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Welcome memsuxwet. I'll let the resident linguist handle this one. Nice to have you here.

Offline

 

#3 Jun-19-2016 11:24:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

- How many Unami speakers are there at present?

With any degree of what can be termed "fluency"?  None.

As I understand it, Nora Thompson was the last native speaker, making it more or less an extinct language.

Lucy Parks Blalock was the last truly fluent Lenape speaker of the Southern Unami dialect.  Leonard Thompson was the last fairly fluent speaker.

I've heard that Munsee still has a few native speakers left up in Ontario?

Yes.  You can count them on the fingers of one hand, and they're all over 70 years old.

My main question is how many people speak the language to some degree when you look at all the Lenape groups together?

Not many.  I'm not aware of any "census" of such "speakers."

And are there any children growing up with Lenape natively?

So far as I know, not as their first language, though children are being taught some Lenape, in various venues.

- Concerning resources for learning Lenape (which by default is almost always Southern Unami?), I am aware of Shelley DePaul's textbook but not of many other resources (besides the Talk Lenape website).

Every resource for learning Lenape is cited somewhere in this Language section of this Forum.

Unfortunately, DePaul doesn't use any accents whatsoever, making the phonetics quite difficult. I've also heard of people on this forum talk about her "DePaul" dialect? Without ushering in WWIII here, could someone elaborate a bit on that?

No.  It's all covered elsewhere in this Forum.

Offline

 

#4 Jun-19-2016 01:43:pm

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

sschkaak wrote:

- How many Unami speakers are there at present?

With any degree of what can be termed "fluency"?  None.

As I understand it, Nora Thompson was the last native speaker, making it more or less an extinct language.

Lucy Parks Blalock was the last truly fluent Lenape speaker of the Southern Unami dialect.  Leonard Thompson was the last fairly fluent speaker.

I've heard that Munsee still has a few native speakers left up in Ontario?

Yes.  You can count them on the fingers of one hand, and they're all over 70 years old.

My main question is how many people speak the language to some degree when you look at all the Lenape groups together?

Not many.  I'm not aware of any "census" of such "speakers."

And are there any children growing up with Lenape natively?

So far as I know, not as their first language, though children are being taught some Lenape, in various venues.

- Concerning resources for learning Lenape (which by default is almost always Southern Unami?), I am aware of Shelley DePaul's textbook but not of many other resources (besides the Talk Lenape website).

Every resource for learning Lenape is cited somewhere in this Language section of this Forum.

Unfortunately, DePaul doesn't use any accents whatsoever, making the phonetics quite difficult. I've also heard of people on this forum talk about her "DePaul" dialect? Without ushering in WWIII here, could someone elaborate a bit on that?

No.  It's all covered elsewhere in this Forum.

Well, I guess I have some searching to do in the forums to find the answers "elsewhere" ... Thanks anyways! smile

Offline

 

#5 Jun-19-2016 10:05:pm

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11149

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

True to form. Thanks for stopping by. smile

Offline

 

#6 Jun-19-2016 11:02:pm

Suckachsinheet
Member
Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 980

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

While I must point out to that person, should they ever return, that the answers were indicated to be available elsewhere on THIS forum, a cursory examination of topic titles in this section did not indicate any recent treatment of the DePaul dialect. Was everything that needed to be said written long ago? It seemed like a reasonable question that could have elicited a brief overview of the matter or a link to something which was written in the past. I recall the discussion(s), but I might be hard pressed to be able to relocate them myself.


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

Offline

 

#7 Jun-20-2016 01:58:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Hi there! I have read a few (very long) threads that did talk about DePaul, though mostly within the context of the LNP. These threads were from 2005-2008 and I had come across them by Googling. I recall that she was criticized for her mixing of Southern and Northern Unami but I did not read anything else specific to here so-called "DePaul dialect" - just angry references.

I should have some time later today to search the forums more thoroughly. I was also hoping to find some more up-to-date information, given that the threads I have read were from nearly a decade ago. Considering how Lenape is still hovering between being dead and alive, it's surprising how little information there is online (at least to the novice learner).

Offline

 

#8 Jun-20-2016 03:33:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

memsuxwet wrote:

Hi there! I have read a few (very long) threads that did talk about DePaul, though mostly within the context of the LNP. These threads were from 2005-2008 and I had come across them by Googling. I recall that she was criticized for her mixing of Southern and Northern Unami but I did not read anything else specific to here so-called "DePaul dialect" - just angry references.

I should have some time later today to search the forums more thoroughly. I was also hoping to find some more up-to-date information, given that the threads I have read were from nearly a decade ago. Considering how Lenape is still hovering between being dead and alive, it's surprising how little information there is online (at least to the novice learner).

I can't seem to edit my previous post...

Anyways, I just realized the "dates" I was referring to were the registration dates of users. So, please disregard that statement. ^^

Offline

 

#9 Jun-20-2016 05:44:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Was everything that needed to be said written long ago?

Essentially, yes.  In general terms, if not in specifics.

It seemed like a reasonable question that could have elicited a brief overview of the matter or a link to something which was written in the past. I recall the discussion(s), but I might be hard pressed to be able to relocate them myself.

Paul:  What makes you think I might NOT be just as hard-pressed as you to relocate those discussions, myself?  Memsuxwet is already aware of our opinions on this subject and knows about the online Lenape Talking Dictionary--which has language lessons, stories in Lenape, and a nearly complete lexicon of the Southern Unami dialect.  My Northern Unami lessons are right here, in this Language section, as is a link to an excellent Munsee Delaware grammar which was posted by Al Dennison.  So, if people want to learn the Delaware language, what more do they need?  They have access to words, grammars and texts, right here, online, for free.  I'm not going to engage in a discussion of any subject, in this part of the Forum, which belongs "elsewhere."

P.S. - "elsewhere on THIS forum" meant the Woodland Indians Forum--not this Language section of the Lenape board.

Offline

 

#10 Jun-20-2016 05:53:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

I didn't mean to spark an argument here - it was a genuine interest.

I searched the forums using DePaul as a keyword and didn't find much in way of specifics (though I did read through many very, very long threads about the LNP), though a user named "lenape" offered to send specific details about DePaul's linguistic faults to anyone that wrote him/her.

So far, I've been using DePaul's textbook to study, in combination with talk-lenape. More specifically, I verify the spelling and pronunciation with website (and what little grammar can be verified).

Offline

 

#11 Jun-20-2016 05:59:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

@Sschaak: Just to add - yes, I am aware of your opinions on the LNP and DePaul's dialect, and I would like to know more and understand better why. Many people have elaborated quite extensively on why the LNP should be regarded with suspicion or even disregarded completely. There is lots of compelling evidence that has been provided to this end on the forums. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find similar arguments or evidence used against DePaul's dialect. So, I figured I'd just ask. smile

Offline

 

#12 Jun-20-2016 06:04:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

If you have specific questions about the language, I'll be happy to answer them.  I have no idea what you're reading in that textbook you cite.  I don't use it.

Offline

 

#13 Jun-21-2016 04:16:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Thanks for the offer! At the moment, the lack of diacritics are what's tripping me up. In regards to pronoun suffixes, what would be the phonetic spelling of the following? I couldn't find them in the talk-lenape dictionary:

-hena (we)
-hemo (you pl.)
-ak/wak (they)

More specifically, they are located on page twenty-two of her textbook: http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/Lingui … Lenape.pdf

Offline

 

#14 Jun-21-2016 05:50:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

-hena  = h + schwa + n + long a.

-hemo = h + schwa + m + long o.

-ak = short a + k.

-wak = w + short a + k.  (The -w- in this is not really part of the suffix.  It is a final part of words ending--or originally ending--in -w.)

Sound files for these can easily be found in the Lenape Talking Dictionary.  For example:  For -hena, simply type hena and a space in the Lenape box.  Many words with this suffix will come up.  Same thing with the others.  You can look up parts of words in LTD.  You can also type the words we, you all, or they into the English box to find these endings.  However, you'll have to sort through all the other possibilities that come up to find the ones you want, doing it this way.

Offline

 

#15 Jun-21-2016 09:45:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

There is a short text, in English and Lenape, on pages xi-xii, of this textbook you're using, in which I count more than twenty errors.  I really don't think you should be using this book to learn Lenape.  The main author is very intelligent and has a grasp of the language which exceeds most students, but not enough to prepare a college-level course, in my humble opinion.

Offline

 

#16 Jun-22-2016 01:56:pm

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Thanks for the help! On page three, "nekamo" is listed as a "person word" (not sure what's meant by that) for they. Would it by chance be pronounced nëkamo? Also, DePaul consistently uses the word "aptonahanne" for "review" and I am at a loss as to its pronunciation (again, no diacritics).

Unfortunately, save for talk-lenape dictionary, I am unaware of any other Lenape lessons online. As far as print media goes, I did find another Lenape book (written by Thompson I believe) available on Amazon that - oddly and unfortunately - does not ship overseas. That leaves me with just DePaul's book and trying to verify what she writes with talk-lenape.

I looked through the Lenape language forum and couldn't find any general resources for learning the language. There were some resources for Munsee and Northern Unami, but not much in terms of Southern Unami. Maybe we could make a sticky thread with recommended/known resources?

Correct if I'm wrong - Southern Unami is the dialect that Nora Thompson Dean and the last remaining native speakers spoke? And also the dialect used on talk-lenape? I did see your book on Northern Unami on the forum - very generous of you to share it! Thanks for your support!

Offline

 

#17 Jun-22-2016 03:37:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

nekamo is the third person plural pronoun used by the Lenape in and around Anadarko, Oklahoma.  If it were in the Lenape Talking Dictionary (which it is not), it would be written, nekemo = n + short e + k + schwa + m + short o.  The Lenape headquartered in Bartlesville use nekao.

aptonahanne is a word that has been coined, by the author, from two Northern Unami forms:  apton ("word") + -hanne ("stream").  I suspect the -a- in the middle is supposed to represent the Southern Unami inanimate plural suffix.  It doesn't appear to be being used to mean "review."  The author translates it as "flow of words," and uses it for the words in each lesson.  Basically, it's her word for "syntax."  Since it's not authentic, I won't bother to give a pronunciation.

The Lenape Talking Dictionary contains over 16,000 Lenape words, pronunciation rules, grammar, sentences, and stories (narrative texts).  I'm not sure what else you need.

Offline

 

#18 Jun-22-2016 04:44:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Other Southern Unami study materials:

Delaware Verbal Morphology: A Descriptive and Comparative Study, by Ives Goddard (book)

A Grammar of Delaware: Semantics, Morpho-Syntax, Lexicon, Phonology, by Bruce L. Pearson (book)

"Delaware, An Eastern Algonquian Language," by C. F. Voegelin, in Hoijer, H., Linguistic Structures of Native America (book)

The Delaware Language, by Lucy Blalock, Bruce L. Pearson and James Rementer (book)

The Delaware Indian Language of 1824, by C. C. Trowbridge, ed. by James Rementer (book)

Lenape Language Lessons, 1-4, by Nora Thompson Dean (2 booklets and 2 sound recordings, both on CD's)

"Unami language" (online Wikipedia article:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unami_language )

Offline

 

#19 Jun-24-2016 12:36:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

I've been going over the DePaul textbook you've been using.  In the first three lessons I've found 15 mistakes.  Most of them are not "horrible," but a few are pretty bad.  When she sticks to the Lenape Talking Dictionary, and other things culled from the Bartlesville Delaware works, the work is normally fine.  When she uses other sources, or has to guess what a particular form should be, or she coins new words, is where she sometimes runs into trouble.  For instance, she lists a word, naolk, meaning "arm."  She must have found this in the book, Western Oklahoma Delaware (see her bibliography).  However, there is no such word.  This is just someone's mishearing of naxk, which means both "hand" and "lower arm."  Again, she lists a word ahkohchi, meaning "cold."  But, this word is really tahkohchi.  She was fooled by the bound pronoun prefixes, which begin with nt- and kt-.  Most such prefixes indicate the person + a euphonic connective t, when the headword begins with a vowel.  The only exceptions are words beginning with t, which begin this same way (nt / kt) when showing the bound pronoun prefixes.  Finally, we've already discussed her coined word, aptonahanne, above.

There are many chapters to read, yet, so I don't want to disparage the whole book, here.  We'll see; if and when I get a chance to read it.  It's probably okay for you to use this book, if you bear in mind that there are a number of errors.  You complained that no diacritical marks are used.  This is true, but this textbook was meant to be used with an accompanying sound recording, which, if you had it, would theoretically clear up the pronunciations.  Unfortunately, some of the words for which she indicated pronunciations are not true to the original words, either.  Hopefully, these aren't reproduced this way in the sound recordings. 

This book is a good attempt to teach Lenape, but certainly not at the college level, in my opinion.  I'd give it a B-minus, if asked to grade what I've seen, so far.

Offline

 

#20 Jun-26-2016 08:27:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Thank you, I appreciate your help and feedback. I'll try and get my hands on some of those books you mentioned next time I'm back in the States.

Concerning DePaul's book: I haven't "learned" anything that I didn't first verify with talk-lenape - for the very same reasons you stated. I'm mostly using to help me grasp some of the grammar, so I can use the words I find on talk-lenape correctly. smile

Offline

 

#21 Jun-26-2016 08:31:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Very good.  I'm presently editing this book, unsolicited, now that you've brought it to my attention.  There is a lot to edit!

Offline

 

#22 Jun-26-2016 08:42:am

memsuxwet
Visitor
Registered: Jun-19-2016
Posts: 15

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

I don't suppose you'd also be inserting the diacritics to bring it up to speed with standard orthography? ^^

I was able to find all of the books you mentioned on Amazon except for the following:

Delaware Verbal Morphology: A Descriptive and Comparative Study, by Ives Goddard ("unavailable" on Amazon)
A Grammar of Delaware: Semantics, Morpho-Syntax, Lexicon, Phonology, by Bruce L. Pearson
The Delaware Language, by Lucy Blalock, Bruce L. Pearson and James Rementer

Do you know of any bookstores - maybe directly in PA - that would sell them? Except for Nora Dean Thompson's book, the rest ship overseas so I'll probably start with those. smile

Offline

 

#23 Jun-26-2016 08:55:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Delaware Verbal Morphology, by Ives Goddard, was originally his doctoral dissertation; so you can still get that early version from ProQuest Dissertation Express:  http://dissexpress.umi.com/dxweb/result … mp;pubnum=

I don't see the others being available, right now, but you should look for them, periodically, at www.bookfinder.com .

Offline

 

#24 Jun-26-2016 08:59:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

P.S. - No.  I will not be entering the diacritical marks.

Offline

 

#25 Jun-27-2016 09:38:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4453

Re: Lenape (Unami) Speakers

Go to Book Reviews to read my edit of DePaul's book:  http://www.woodlandindians.org/forums/v … 931#p46931

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson