Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hamilton and Irvin's "An Ioway Grammar": Intro; Preface (pages i - xi)-

My new project for this Ioway-Otoe Language, Culture and History blog is to take an in-depth look at a historic document published in 1848 and go through it page-by-page. I figure if I try to do a page or so a day, it will take about 6 months, as it is just over 150 pages long. That would put the end of this project in early August. So if I neglect my efforts for more than a day or so, please remind me at At the end of the project, sometime in August I hope, I will have it all in a form that can be downloaded for free as a PDF; it will include the original text as well as my bracketed notes and comments. This work is not being scanned, but hand-transcribed.

You can read the original on Google Books: An Ioway Grammar

This is a grammar of the Ioway language published by William Hamilton and Samuel Irvin, Presbyterian missionaries to the Ioways after we moved to the Kansas reservation due to the provisions of the 1836 treaty. Their mission was located near Highland, Kansas; the grounds are currently preserved as the Native American Heritage Museum(there is a little history of the Ioway and Sac and Fox Mission at that link), belonging to the Kansas State Historical Society. Unfortunately as of this date, it is due to be closed shortly (Jan-Feb 2009), if it isn't closed already, due to state budget shortfalls.

This first blog entry covers the beginning, from the title page to the end of the Preface, 9 pages in all; the first three pages are unnumbered, and then there are discrepancies the numbering, running: iv, v, vi, vii, viii, xi. There are no pages numbered ix and x. But while we will come across errors at times, we should remember that Hamilton and Irvin were not trained printers and were learning on the job, and self-taught. They did a pretty amazing job by any reckoning.


The title page of the grammar reads as follows [My comments are in brackets and italicized]:

===Begin title page i ===















Under the direction of the Presbyterian B. F. M. [Board of Foreign Missions]




==end title page i ==


===begin page ii facing PREFACE===

NOTE. ANY defect, which may appear
in the mechanical execution of this
work, will be accounted for, when it is
remembered that the little press at
the station, on which it has been done,
is provided with only two kinds of
type, and that our experience in the
art has been acquired entirely in the
Indian country, and without any

===end page ii===

===begin preface page iii===


Every language has something
peculiar of its own, not only as far as
the construction of sentences, and the
arrangement of words are concerned,
but also in reference to the particular
manner of pronouncing many of its
words. The different Indian lan-
guages have sounds that none of our
characters represent and which an
ear, not familiar with the language,
can with difficulty detect.
In using, therefore, the Roman char-
acter, to write an Indian language,
and in adopting the different sounds of
the letters, to represent, as far as

===end page iii===

===begin page iv===

practicable, the different sounds em-
ployed by them in the formation of
words, it is not to be inferred, that
every variety of sound is preserved,
or that the combination of letters, as
we use them, does in all instances,
represent the true pronunciation of
the different Indian words. As well
might it be supposed than an English-
man and Frenchman, in reading Lat-
in or Greek, would always pronounce
the words alike. A good degree of ex-
actness, has, however, been attained;
and an Indian, when taught to read in
his own language, will give the dif-
ferent words their correct sound.
The language used by the Ioway,
and Otoe and Missouri tribes, is the
same; a slight difference is percep-

===end page iv===

===begin unnumbered page after page iv, and facing page v===


Letters. - Power. - Name.

A a - as a in far - a
AE ae - " a " fate - ae
C c - " ch " chat - che
D d - " d " did - de
E e - " e " me - e
F f - " th " think - the
G g - " ng " wrong - ang
H h - " h " hat - he
J j -" sh " she - she
K k -" k " keep - ke
M m - " m " man - me, em
N n - " n " none - ne, en
O o - " o " note - o
P p - " p " peep - pe
R r - " r " reap - re, er
S s - " s " see - se, es
T t - " t " tea - te
U u - " u " true - u
W w - " w " weep - we
Y y -" y " ye - ye

===end unnumbered page===

[LF: Hamilton and Irvin's orthography can be translated into the orthography currently used in Baxoje as:


a as the a in father = a (ma = arrow)
ae as the "a" in fate = e (be = to throw)
c as the "ch" in chat = ch (che = buffalo)
d as the "d" in did = d (do = wild potato)
e as the "e" in me = i (chi = house)
f as the "th" in think = th (thi = foot) - NOTE: H&I do not use the dh sound as the "th" in that (madhe = iron)
g as the "ng" in wrong = ng (thinge = tail, Otoe form) - NOTE: H & I do not use the ny sound (nyi = water)
h as the "h" in hat = h (ha = skin)
j as the "sh" in she = sh (shunye = horse) - NOTE: H & I do not have a "j" sound represented in their system at all
k as the "k" in keep = k (k'o = the thunder)
m as the "m" in man = m (mi = blanket; robe)
n as the "n" in none = n (na = tree; wood)
o as the "o" in note = o (do = wild potato)
p as the "p" in peep = p (pi = good)
r as the "r" in reap = r (ruje = to eat)
s as the "s" in see = s (sahma = seven)
t as the "t" in tea = t (ta = deer)
u as the "u" in true = u (buje = acorn)
w as the "w" in weep = w (w = wanye (Ioway); wange (Otoe))
y as the "y" in ye (you) = y (yan = to lie down)

There are a number of sounds that are used in contemporary Ioway-Otoe that are not represented in Hamilton and Irvin. There are no glottal stops, there is no x, no j, no dh, etc. We will examine this situation as the project progresses.]

===begin page v===

tible in their mode of speaking, and
a few words are common to one tribe
that are not common to the others;
(App. 11.) yet the difference is not
greater than is often found to prevail
among the inhabitants of the different
There is so much similarity in the
languages of many of the Indian tribes,
that it shows them to have had one
common origin, while others, again,
differ as widely as two languages can
differ. This dissimilarity is seen in
the Ioway and Sac languages in
which no two words are alike.
If the language of the Ioway In-
dians be taken as the starting point,
(though tradition says that they,
with many other tribes, were original-

===end page v===

===begin page vi===

ly Winnebagoes,) then those of the
same family would, as far as has been
ascertained, stand related to it in the
following order;

-1st. IOWAY
---- OTOE

A number of words are common to
all these tribes, and not a few words
differ only in the accent and the
change of a few letters, indicating a
common origin; yet time has produ-
ced such a change that in conversing
together an interpreter is necessary.

===end page vi===

===begin page vii===

The barrenness which is supposed
to belong to most Indian languages,
does not result from the structure, or
nature of the language, but from the
want of ideas in those who use it.
So far as they have ideas, they do not
lack words to express them, though
the mode of expression, among them,
is often as different from that in use
among us, as their language is from
ours. *

* Illustrative of this remark is the following note,
which should have been added to the table of kin-
dred on page 20.
1st. There is no word in Ioway expressive of
---the relation of cousin.
2nd. UNCLES on the father's side, are called fa-
---thers, and their children, brothers and sisters.
3rd. AUNTS on the mother's side, are called
---mothers, and their children, brothers and
4th. UNCLES on the mother's side, are called
---uncles, and their sons sustain the same rela-

===end page vii===

===begin page viii===

In reducing an unwritten to a writ-
ten language, difficulties will necessa-
rily be encountered, and it is not pre-
tended that all these difficulties have
been surmounted in the present case.
But it is believed that, in the attempt
here made, a sufficient degree of exact-
ness has been attained to aid those
who may wish to acquire a knowledge
of the Ioway language.
It will be seen, on examination, that
this little work has not been prepared
to teach the science of Grammar, but
to illustrate the grammatical construc- [sic: needs "tion"]
of the language. All definitions of

---tion, while their daughters are called mo-
5th. AUNTS on the father's side are called aunts,
---and their children nephews and nieces.
6th. Children of cousins, address the cousins of
---their parents as uncle and aunt; and vice
---versa of all the above.

===end of page viii===

===begin page ix -- mistakenly numbered xi in original, as there is no ix nor x===

the parts of speech etc. have there-
fore been omitted, presuming that all
whose interest or curiosity may lead
them to examine this, are already ac-
quainted with the science of Grammar.


===end page ix===