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A Grammar of the Seneca Language by Wallace Chafe

By Wallace Chafe

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

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Example text

Taë’ (*ëhatharë’) ‘he will talk’ a > ö / ëw- (nasalization of a to ö after ëw). ëwö:dö’ (*ëwatö’) ‘it will become’ a > ö / ëh- (nasalization of a to ö after ëh). gëhö:de’ (*kaiyhate’) ‘river’ a > ö / ë’- (nasalization of a to ö after ë’). ji’dë́ ’ö:h (*tsi’të’ahah) ‘bird’ a > ö / ö- (nasalization of a to ö after ö). 19 A Grammar of the Seneca Language gwa’yö̀ :’ (*kwa’yöha’) ‘rabbit’ a > ö / öw- (nasalization of a to ö after öw). oyö:wö’ (*oyöwa’) ‘tall plant’ a > ö / ö’- (nasalization of a to ö after ö’).

24 A Grammar of the Seneca Language example. There is, however, one complication. A participant that is expressed with an agent pronominal prefix in the habitual aspect is expressed with a patient prefix in the stative aspect. 2. Consequential events. 3 shows the options for a consequential event. Both habitual and progressive events are expressed with the habitual suffix. ) A perfect event, which is not expressible with a nonconsequential base, is expressed for a consequential event with the stative suffix.

O’wà:’ (*o’wahra’) ‘meat’ VV: > V:V (rewriting of the colon). sga:e’ (*skaher’) ‘it’s on it again’ V:V: > V:V (shortening of two long vowels in sequence). wa:e’ (*wa’haher’) ‘he thought’ V:VAP > V: (shortening of an antepenultimate vowel sequence). wáë́ öyágë’dak (*wa’haröhyakë’tahk) ‘he worked hard at it’ k > g / -V or -R-n (k became g before a vowel, or before a resonant other than n). o’ga:wa:k (*wa’kawak) ‘I sifted it’ t > d / -V or -R-n (t became d before a vowel, or before a resonant other than n).

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