« PreviousContinue »
prefixed to the verb. These last, therefore, follow the words homulgiad, hokolik, homulgin, hokolin, when used.
Although not inserted in the Table, there appears to be a dual for the second person, formed in the same manner as that of the first.
There are some deviations from the rules in the paradigm; but whether anomalies, or proceeding from errors, is not ascertained. Nor is it known, whether those rules apply to the other moods and tenses, or whether there are several conjugations.
The Cherokees have three separable indeclinable pronouns: Ayung, 'I,'' we'; nihi, “thou,'‘ye’; na, “he,'“theyTraces of them are still visible in the transitions : ungyu, 'I — thee;' ihya, “thou — him;' ana, "they-him.'
But it will appear, by the Grammatical Notices, that the possessive pronouns united with nouns, are the same with the personal pronouns united with verbs, and that they correspond with the numerous nice distinctions made in that language, between the different species of dual and plural.
It is also necessary to observe that, in many Indian languages and particularly in this, the transitions may be divided into two general classes, that of the third person with the third, first, or second; and that between the first and second persons. The first class is susceptible of various subdivisions, according to the character of each language respectively; separating, in some cases, the transitions from one third to another third person, from those between the third and the first or second person; distinguishing, in some languages, the transitions, in which the third person is in the nominative, from those in which it is in the objective case.
This being premised, the three following general rules for the indicative present, are deduced from the Table.
1. The verb, in every instance, terminates the word; the pronouns, in Cherokee, being always prefixed.
2. Te (sign of plural) prefixed, always shows that the pronoun in the objective case is in the dual or plural number.
3. G, ge, gung, prefixed, or inserted immediately after the plural te, designates the third person plural.
Whence it follows that teg means 'them,' in the transitions which terminate in the third person plural. But the g is omitted in the transition from the third person plural to the third person. • They — him,' ana ; they — them, teana.
The pronouns used, either as possessive, or as personal in the transitions between the third and either the first or the second person, are
him and me, te awgina ha thou,
thee, itsa (pl. ye,
you tuo, ga
tsa tetsa testa
tege tsa tege sta
4. Whence a fourth rule is deduced, viz. the designation of the plural by ts, and of the dual by st ; except the objective case of the dual of the first person, where the termination ina is substituted for st.
But in the transition from the first to the second person, ungya ex. presses the two persons combined; and the transition from the second to the first person, is expressed by skiya, changed into skina for the dual.
The uniformity of the transitions, from which the rules have been deduced, and the defects of those between the first and second person, though obvious in the Table, will be still more apparent in the following recapitulation, in which the verb itself, (lungiha,) which without any change always terminates the form, is omitted. From the third to another third person,
him, them. he
aqua gung que pl. we awtsa teg awtsa | pl. us
te awka du. he and I awsta teg awsta du. him and me te awgina teg awgina thou ihya teg ihya
teg etsa du.
du. you two Between the first and second persons,
dual, ye tro. skiya skiya skina plural, us
te skiya te skiya te skiya dual, him and me te skina te skina te skina
pl. we. thee
g ungya plural, you
tets ungya tets ungya dual,
test ungya tets ungya test ungya It will be perceived that the dual designations are used in the transitions between dual and singular, between dual and dual, and between dual and third person plural; and that the plural designation prevails in the other transitions between plural and dual, except in the transition Ye -- him and me, where ina is used.
The defect of the system is obvious in the transitions between the first and second persons, where the same forms are used to express different transitions, and the resulting ambiguity is evident. This is due to the want of a distinctive sign between the singular and plural, either in the nominative or objective case. There is also confusion in the forms tegetsa and tegesta, both of which are applied to two different purposes.
In preparing those several tables, the etymology has alone been attended to, and the Cherokee distinction of syllables, as they are pronounced, has been disregarded. This distinction is made in Mr. Worcester's transitions and notes, as given by him, and to which the attention of the inquisitive reader is specially called.' (Grammatical Notices.)
du. he and I.
It must be recollected that every syllable in Cherokee ends in a vocal or nasal sound. This last is, in the tables, &c., represented by the letters ung, from analogy to the English words long, clung, &c. Thus the forms teg-esta, ils-ungya, &c., are pronounced te-ge-sta, i-tsung-ya, &c.
It will not escape notice, that the pronouns in the singular number of the simple conjugation differ from those used in the transitions, and that, in the simple conjugation, that of the first and that of the third person are the same. We have in the simple conjugation, 'I,' ga ; 'thou,' ha; "he,' ga; in the transitions, 'I — him,' tsiya; “thou — him, ihya ; "he — him,' ga.
It has appeared to me most natural to suppose that, in the transitions, (with the exception of that from the third to the third person,) the singular of the third person, he and him, was implied and not expressed: but this is only a conjecture, and requires further investigation.
There are other forms of the same verb, in which the pronouns he, him, are expressed, and vary, according as the person is present, or absent, or in order to express some modification of the action:
Ga -lung i ha, he is tying him, or it,' is the form as set down
in the table.
in the form set down in the table. But, Gatsiya-lung i ha, 'I am tying them,' viz. both together. This last instance seems contrary to analogy, since the te prefixed does uniformly designate the plural of the objective case; and it is here used when each person is tied separately, and omitted when they are tied together.
Again: there are two past tenses (at least), and one future, in the Cherokee.
The forms are respectively, independent of the pronouns: lung lung gi, and lung tsa, for the two past tenses; and for the future, ta- lungli, in which ta (taw, tay, tung) is prefixed, and lungli affixed to the pro
And they are in other respects generally conjugated as the present: tsiya-lung lung gi, I have tied him; ta-tsiya-lungli, I will tie him; getsa-lung lung gi, they have tied thee; ta-getsa-lungli, they will tic
thee. But they differ in the transition from the third to the third person. Omitting the final verbal form, we have, viz.
Preterite. - him
ta — ga— 1.
ta - gungwa -1.
te gungwa - 1. ta — gungwana - 1. This shows, not only the difficulty of pronouncing definitively respecting the omission of the third person, but also that, notwithstanding the uniformity of the transition forms of the present of the Indicative,
ga — 1.
te u na
- taga -1.
gungwa - 1.
from which the rules have been deduced, such is the variety of forms, of which the verb, even in its connection only with the pronouns, is susceptible, that those rules must be considered as a mere attempt, or first essay, to deduce rules from the spoken language. There can be no doubt, that the difficulty of ascertaining all those pronominal varieties and of reducing them to rules is, amongst other causes, one of the principal obstacles to a complete acquirement of the Cherokee. Mr. B. informed me that many Americans, after a residence of eight or ten years, could neither understand or speak tolerably the language, whilst the Muskho. gee is generally learnt in three years. Cherokee children find, however, no greater difficulty, and it requires no longer time for them to speak their language, than is the case with our own children with respect to theirs.
There is reason to believe, that there is a similarity of character between the languages of the Iroquois family and the Cherokee, which may account for the acknowledged difficulty of acquiring a competent knowledge of them, and for our scanty information in that respect.
The transitions which terminate in the first and second persons are very defective, the same words being repeatedly used to express different forms. But the system is astonishingly regular. A different series of abbreviated pronouns is used for the subjunctive, and another for the imperative : the tenses and voices are formed by the insertion of certain particles, invariably the same respectively in every verb: and the transitions, or combinations of pronouns, are, without exception, the same for every tense and mood. Thus the particles which, in the Indicative, designate the simple tenses, viz. the imperfect, future, and mixed, are, respectively, vu, a, avu. Inserting either of these after elu, the root of the verb, in every transition of the table D, you will have the transitions of the tense designated by the particle. The same rule applies to the transitions of the negative form, of the passive voice, and of various other forms expressive of various modifications of the action, all which are also designated by the insertion of some particle. And in order to convert any transition whatever of the Indicative into a correspondent transition of the subjunctive, it is only necessary to substitute, for the pronouns of the Indicative, those of the Subjunctive. (See Grammatical Notices.)
Such perfect regularity is not natural to any, much less to an oral language spoken by various independent tribes along a coast of twelve hundred miles in extent. They have had missionaries for three hundred years, who were the first writers of that language, and who may, for a very useful and laudable purpose, without altering its character, and by a skilful analogy, have given it the great regularity exhibited in Father Febres's grammar.
DELAWARE. It will be recollected that, independent of the plural terminations and of the constant portion of the verb proper, there are, in the Delaware
transitions, two pronominal signs or characteristics ; 1. the initial n', k', w' (the last often omitted), which respectively show: k', that one of the pronouns of the transition is of the second person; n', that the pronouns are, one of the first and the other of the third person ; w', (or no initial prefixed to the verb proper,) that both pronouns are of the third person. 2. That inserted immediately after the verb proper, viz. a, an, awa, or awan, when the action terminates in the third person ; g, or k, when the action passes from the third to the first or second person ; l, when it passes from the first to the second; and i when it passes from the second to the first person.
Thence are deduced the forms of all the transitions of the Indicative, when both pronouns are in the singular number; observing, that that from the third to the third person, (he – him,) still preserving the characteristic a, has various terminations, which, together with other varieties, may be seen in the table H. 7. Those forms, independent of the verb proper, are generally He— him, w'— awall, agol, ak; 1-him, n' — a; thou — him, k- a;
uk; he — thee, k- uk; 1- thee, k-1;
thou — me,
k-i. The plural terminations are less uniformn. Referring to the table H. 7. for the varieties, we insert here the most usual ; distinguishing those, in which both pronouns are in the plural, from those in which one of the pronouns, either in the nominative or in the objective case, is in the singular.
nomin. nominat. both
obj: sing plurul. plural:
a newo a wawak n'
3d p. obj. 1st € 3d a wak
a neen a wawuna n
3d b 66 Ist guna
geneen I k' 3d
3d p. nom.
1st p. obj. b 1st 66 2d lo humo le neen lo hena 1st p. nom. The plural terminations of the simple conjugations are: for the Indicative present, neen, for the first; himo, humo for the second; wak, or newo for the third person. In the transitions, where one pronoun only is in the plural number, which terminate in the third person, or which include only the pronouns of the first and second person, (a &c.) the same terminations are used precisely for the same purpose, (neen standing for we, or us, &c.), with one exception, viz. in the transition “ye him,' where ewo stands for 'ye.' In the transitions from the third to the first or second person, the g, or ge, designates, according to the second rule, the pronoun in the third person; and una and uwa stand respectively for us and you : but if, in that transition the third person is in the plural number (they), ge alone is generally used without any plural termination ; the initial k, or n, sufficiently distinguishing whether the Pronoun, in the singular objective case, is of the second or first person. In those transitions where both pronouns are in the plural number, wa added after the characteristic a (a wawak, awawuna,) shows that the third person is in the objective case (them); geneen and gehimo, which respectively indicate that the first or second person is in the objective