« PreviousContinue »
case, are compound respectively of ge, 'they,' and of neen, 'we,'«us'; and himo,‘ye, you ’: and hena, contracted from hum-ena (ye, we), designates that the pronouns of the two first persons are both in the plural number, the preceding characteristic 1, or i, showing which of the two is in the objective case.
Thus, notwithstanding the original defect and the consequent complexness of the Delaware transitions, they answer the purpose intended, and express distinctly, and with great precision, every combination of the verb with the pronouns. But the rules given for the plural terminations, though general, are subject to many exceptions, as may be partly seen by the table H. 7. It would indeed be a most extraordinary phienomenon, to find a purely oral language, highly inflected, exempt of those anomalies and exceptions, which exist in languages regulated by the art of writing and the influence of great writers. We cannot investigate any branch of our Indian languages, without discovering evidences of the power of analogy in creating that uniformity which renders them proper vehicles for the communication of ideas, and new proofs of their gradual progress, the result of the application of the natural faculties of man to that object, but not of any preconcerted philosophical system.
There does not appear to be any very evident connexion between the usual pronouns and those inserted and variously modified particles, (a, g or k, l, i;) inserted immediately after the verb proper, which I have designated as the “inserted characteristics of the Pronoun.” * But both the initial characteristics and, with the exception of himo, (you), all the plural terminations are derived from the separable, and of the same character as the possessive Pronouns. Why himo was substituted to uwa, the termination of the second person plural of the separable pronoun, and preserved, as well as una, in the transitions he — you, he us, does not appear.
Table I. is a comparative view of the Delaware transitions, in the Indicative present, with Eliot's Massachusetts paradigm of the verb wadchan — unumat, “to keep,' and with that of the Chippeway verb takop — chegawing, 'to tie,' as given by Dr. James in the Appendix to Tanner's Narrative. They exhibit many correspondences and several differences. If we were to judge from those specimens alone, it might be inferred that the Delaware was, in that respect, more uniform, complete, and precise than the two other kindred dialects. But the inference may be premature. A laborious investigation of Eliot's translation of the Bible would be necessary, in order to form a correct estimate of the Massachusetts. It is not worth while to attempt, with the materials on hand, any further researches into the Chippeway; and we must wait for the expected elucidations from Mr. Schoolcraft and other intelligent men, who are engaged in that pursuit. That language is spoken by the most numerous tribe of that family, and acquires addi- .
The third person perhaps excepted. Neka, plural nekamawa, is the separable pronoun, and the particles a and k (or g) may have been derived from it. The origin of awa, una, uwa is obvious. Niluna, Kiluna, are the plural of the two first persons. Quere, as to l and i?
tional importance from its great affinity with the Ottawa, the Potowotami, the Knistinau, and the Algon proper.
It may, however, be observed, that the origin of w' in the Delaware, and of Oo in the Massachusetts, substituted, in the conjugations, for neka, and nagoh, the inseparable pronouns of the third person, may be traced to the Chippeway ween and o-oon (James), o-un (Schoolcraft). The same w, with various modifications, (we, wi, ewo, &c.) is found for that person, not only in the old Algonkin, the Knistinau, and Potowotami, but also in the Mountanee, Penobscot, Narraganset, Mohican, Miami, and Shawnee. (Comparative Vocabulary, which see also for various corresponding plural terminations of the Pronouns.)
The objective case of the third person deserves particular consideration, since, in the Algonkin family at least, the operation of the verb on the object, being expressed a pronominal termination, the inflection which designates that operation, or what we call the case, is transferred (or extended) to the verbal form or transition. The Indians of that family say, ' Í fear him God,' n' quitalaya ; • I love him God,' n' dahoala. A small inaccuracy of Mr. Heckewelder must be noticed: it is not alaya or ala which designates the objective case of the pronoun (him); it is only the final a. Ahoal belongs entire to the verb proper and remains unchanged through all the varicd pronominal combinations and inflections. But the a clearly designates him, in every conjugation, as may be seen by reference to the tables H. and H. 7., and to Zeisberger's paradigms; and is preserved in the plural (them), adding to it the proper plural termination. It has been suggested that this a is derived from the termination of the inseparable pronoun neka. In the Chippeway, the termination un, an, wun, of the same pronoun (ween, 0-un) is likewise preserved for the same purpose in the transitions. O sagian, "he loves him.'
But in the Chippeway, and it seems also in the Massachusetts, the same inflection is extended to the noun, if animate, which is the object of the action, when the verb is in the third person (he – him, he them). Mukwa means “a bear': ' he saw a bear,' he has killed a bear, are Ogiwabuman mukwun, and Oginissan mukwun: he saw him,' he has killed him,' •a bear him.' This inflection of mukwa into mukwun corresponds with the Latin accusative. It seems also that it supersedes the plural termination of the noun (ag); so that, in that case, it is uncertain whether the man saw or killed a bear or several bears. (Schoolcraft).
This observation is quoted here, principally for the purpose of pointing out what seems to me the principal deficiency in Zeisberger's Grammar. The omission of the inclusive, or general plural, may be easily supplied. But since it is certain that the terminations of verbs, or of the pronouns connected with them, (which of the two I cannot say,) are altered, according to the nature of the object of the action, whether animate or inanimate, (Heckewelder's Correspondence, page 438,) it seems to follow that there must be another set of transitions terminating in the third person, so as to distinguish when the object is animate or inanimate. A single additional pronominal inflection, discriminating it from him, might be sufficient for the purpose. But we are left ignorant of the process. The two instances (of transitive verbs) given by Mr. Heckewelder are, Nolhalla, “I possess'; Newau, VOL. II.
• I see,' if the object possessed or seen, is animate ; Nolhatton and Nemen, if the object is inanimate. The distinction extends to intransitive verbs – Here lies my horse,'or,' my axe. In the first case, lies is 'shingieshin,' in the other, “shingieshen.' In the Chippeway, Dr. James gives for them, egieu if persons, enieu if things. The distinction may have a more extensive influence in that language than in the Delaware : and this is rendered extremely probable by the manner in which Mr. Schoolcraft speaks of it. (Lecture 1st, page 171).
It may be proper to observe, in addition to what has been said respecting the subjunctive, that, amongst Zeisberger's paradigms, there is one, of which the plural of the Indicative present may be conjugated as the subjunctive. Nihillapewi, 'I am free' (or, made free), or, ' my own master.'
Plural first person - Nihillapewineen, or, Nihillapewiyenk
– Nihilla pewihimo, or, Nihillapewiyek
FORMATION OF TENSES, VOICE, & c.
The Table K. is intended to give some notions of the manner in which the tenses, the passive voice, and the negative form of verbs are genearlly formed; but it embraces only the principal tenses; and many languages have also more than one negative form.
The pluperfect of the Delaware subjunctive, the optative of the Massachusetts, and those tenses or moods of the Choctaw, Muskhogee, Cherokee, Chilian, &c., which are expressed in English by “I may,''I would,' 'I should,' &c., as well as several (such as the causative form) belonging to some Indian languages, have been omitted. Specimens will be found in the detailed transitions of the respective languages. It will also there be seen, that, in all those of which we have a sufficient knowledge, the several tenses of the same mood are, with slight variations, conjugated, in every other respect than the particle characteristic of the tense, as the present tense.
It appears by the table, and it would be still more evident, had there been space for the co gations of the several moods and tenses in both voices, that those characteristic particles are almost universally placed next to the verb proper, much oftener after than before it, and that they do not interfere with the pronominal combinations. The tables H. 3. 4. 5. 6. will show this for the Delaware so far as relates to tenses. We add examples for the passive voice and negative form.
I have heard n' dahoala neon
I (LS n' dahoal gusgi hena We are " k' penda xi himo akup
Ye were " Atta n' dahoala wi I do not lore Atta n' pendam owi P
I did not hear Atta n' dahoala wu neen We do not " Atta k' pendam o wu nowo ap Ye" Atta n' dahoal gussiwi I am not loved Matta n' penda xi wip I was not heard Atta n' dahoal gussi winoen We are not " Matta k'penda xi wunewo ap Ye were "
thou dost not tie hush tokchě
hush ik tokch o
ye do not tie chit tull okche thou art tied ik chi tull okch o thou art not tied huch it ull okcheye are tied lik huch it ull okcho ye are not tied
In the Choctaw ull is the sign of the passive, and is inserted in the body of the verb proper tokchč, between t and okche. We have another similar instance in the negative form of the Massachusetts. Wadchan um oo un, 'he does not keep.' Oo is the negative sign, and is inserted within the pronominal combination umun.
It has already been remarked that, in the passive voice of the Choctaw, (as well as in some intransitive verbs,) the pronoun, which with us is in the nominative, is put in the objective case. The same observation, for the passive at least, applies to the Muskhogee and to the Cherokee. Yest is the nominative of the first person singular in Muskhogee, and cha is the objective case singular: • he ties me,' cha wonni ist; “thou tiest me,' cha wonni yichkist. The plural objective of the same person is po. (See Table B.)
In the passive voice we have :
* we two are'tica, normalid, } po wonnagist.
In the Cherokee, a verbal termination ung is the sign of the passive, (as gussi, or xi in the Delaware); and, in the verb • to tie,' lungiha is converted into lungung. But, besides that change, the pronoun is put in the objective case.
• They tie me,' ungqua lungina ; • He ties you,' tetsa lungiha, 'I am tied,' gungqua lungung; "Ye are tied,' tetsa lungung Tsiya (I), and etsa (we), are the respective nominative cases.
The reason of this use of the objective case is obvious. We put the pronoun in the nominative case, on account of its connexion with the verb substantive: but, in reality, the person is, in the passive voice, the object and not the subject of the action. But the pronouns are also used, in the objective case, in the negative form of the Choctaw verb; and for this I cannot account.
The visible correspondence of the pronominal combinations between the Delaware, the Chippeway, and the Massachusetts, is less evident in the signs of the tenses, voice, and negation. The preterite and future in the Chippeway are expressed respectively by ke (or, gi) and gah, prefixed, instead of being affixed to the verb proper. The sign of the passive voice in the Massachusetts is it. That of the negative form is, in the Chippeway, kaw prefixed; in the Massachusetts, 00 inserted as above stated.
Although our information respecting the Iroquois is limited, Zeisberger has given the conjugations of the Onondago, (one example of which will be found in the appended tables of simple conjugation,) and general rules for the formation of the tenses, and of the passive voice.
There are various modifications of the inseparable pronouns. They are prefixed to the verb, and there is a distinct series for the passive, by which alone that voice is distinguished from the active.
The most usual of those pronouns are :
ge, wage; unque ;
se, wassa, sa ;
swa; Third person, mas. ho, waho;
tiunqua; Second person,
jetswa; Third person, mas. huwa;
huwati; Third person, fem. guwa ;
guwati. When the verb begins with wa or t, the pronoun is inserted between the first and second syllable of the verb, instead of being prefixed to it.
There are two future tenses corresponding with the English will and shall. The first, or simple future, is formed by prefixing èn, 'n; and the future imperative by prefixing na to the pronoun; the Imperative by inserting or prefixing a, (the second person singular being thus converted from su into assa). The preterite tense is formed by affixing to the present a termination, ochne, squa, chta, &c., varying according to the termination of the verb.
In every other respect, the verbs are conjugated like the present of the indicative, the differences of number, gender, and person being distinguished only by the pronouns as above stated. Various prepositions meaning in, on, to, under, near, &c., and some conjunctions, (as sé, ‘for,' “ because,') may be affixed to the verb and modify or alter its meaning.
No mention is made by Zeisberger of a subjunctive mood, of a dual or special plural, or of transitions. The few specimens of those of the Mohawk, collected by Mr. Dwight, are not sufficient for any general inference. But Zeisberger's Grammar, translated by Mr. Duponceau, from which the preceding notes have been extracted, and which is in the library of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, contains much additional interesting information ; and it is desirable that it should be published. A very voluminous manuscript German and Onondago dictionary, compiled by Mr. Zeisberger, is also in the same library.
Examples have been given of the relative position of the particles which denote tenses, voice, and negation, both with each other, and with respect to the pronoun and to the verb proper. The view even of that branch of the subject is not complete ; and materials are wanted to throw any light on the selection, or position of the various prepositions or other particles, which, being either prefixed, affixed, or inserted, modify or alter the meaning of the verb. Although the Chilian Grammar of Father Febres is far more complete and satisfactory than any we have of our Indian languages, he has not been able to give more than a few very partial rules; and declares the choice and collocation of those particles to be the most difficult part of the language, and to be acquired only by usage.
Note. Zeisberger's paradigms having been examined first in order, his definition of moods has been followed throughout - e.g. what Eliot more properly calls tho suppositivo mood, is here termed the subjunctive.