By Wallace Chafe

ISBN-10: 0520286413

ISBN-13: 9780520286412

The Seneca language belongs to the Northern Iroquoian department of the Iroquoian language kin, the place its closest family are Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora. Seneca holds specific typological curiosity as a result of its excessive measure of polysynthesis and fusion. it's traditionally vital as a result of its significant function within the Longhouse faith and its position within the pioneering linguistic paintings of the nineteenth century missionary Asher Wright. This grammatical description, consisting of 4 prolonged texts in numerous genres, is the culminatin of Chafe’s long-term learn of the language over part a century.

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Additional info for A Grammar of the Seneca Language

Example text

3 The hypothetical prefix. The hypothetical prefix expresses a speaker’s judgment that the occurrence of an event is only a possibility, neither an established fact nor probable. Depending on the context, this prefix can be translated with English ‘might’ or ‘should’, as with a:ge:gë’ ‘I might see it’ or ‘I should see it’. The ‘might’ translation is appropriate, for example, in á:hse:gë’ honö́ hso:t ‘you might see his house’. The ‘should’ translation is appropriate after ha’degagö:n ‘it’s necessary’, as in ha’degagö:n ö:saswáhsatö:’ ‘you should bury it again’.

Swa-C swë-i you > 2 sw-a,e ts-o 9. ha-C hë-i h-a,e,o he she two women or animals > 2 women or animals two men > 2 men it 25. he-C,i hey-a,e,o 26. shakni-C shakn-i,e,o shaky-a 27. shakwa-C shakwë-i shakw-a,e shaky-o 28. shetni-C shetn-i,e,o shetš-a 29. shetwa-C shetwë-i shetw-a,e shety-o 30. hehs-V,RV,tV,hV hehse- 20. ho-C,a,i haw-e ha-o him he 38. shako-C,a,i shakaw-e shaka-o 43. she-C,i shey-a,e,o 22. (ya)ko-C,a,i (ya)kaw-e (ya)ka-o her she them they men 21. hoti-C hon-V them/they it women animals 23.

In some contexts it implies capability: ëgéyë’he’t ‘I will learn it’ may have the force of ‘I can learn it’. 3 The hypothetical prefix. The hypothetical prefix expresses a speaker’s judgment that the occurrence of an event is only a possibility, neither an established fact nor probable. Depending on the context, this prefix can be translated with English ‘might’ or ‘should’, as with a:ge:gë’ ‘I might see it’ or ‘I should see it’. The ‘might’ translation is appropriate, for example, in á:hse:gë’ honö́ hso:t ‘you might see his house’.

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A Grammar of the Seneca Language by Wallace Chafe


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