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 kin are Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora. Seneca holds particular typological curiosity due to its excessive measure of polysynthesis and fusion. it's traditionally vital due to its significant position within the Longhouse faith and its position within the pioneering linguistic paintings of the nineteenth century missionary Asher Wright. This grammatical description, such as 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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Extra resources for A Grammar of the Seneca Language

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Seneca has 58 different prefix forms but six of them perform two different functions, and thus the total set of prefix functions amounts to 64. 1, with agent meanings in separate rows, patient meanings in separate columns, and transitive meanings at the intersections of the rows and columns. Those with the same form but different functions are numbered 7, 7a, 8, 8a, 20, 20a, 31, 31a, 32, 32a, and 44, 44a. 2. Neuter singular agents and patients. 1) only when it is not combined with a human patient.

2. Neuter singular agents and patients. 1) only when it is not combined with a human patient. If a human patient is also present, a neuter singular agent is not overtly marked. 1. Pronominal Prefixes (reconstructed forms) Agents No patient 12. ye-C,i yak-o yö-a yë-e 13. e,o ky-a 14. wati-C wën-V 10. hni-C hn-i,e,o hy-a 11. hati-C hën-V 15. ka-C kë-i w-a,e y-o me I us two we two us > 2 we > 2 Patients you you two you > 2 57. skni-C skn-i,e,o sky-a 58. skwa-C skwë-i skw-a,e sky-o 34. hak-V,RV,tV,hV 35.

4. Words with no accent. 1. An example is deyagodawënye:h ‘people are moving about’, literally ‘stirring’. 5. The absence of accenting on initial and final vowels. The first and last vowels of a word were exempt from word-level accenting. The trochaic pattern was established by ignoring the first vowel, and the last vowel could not belong to the first syllable of a trochee. 1). 6. Accent spreading. The loss of r and of intervocalic h often produced uninterrupted vowel sequences. If the second of two adjacent vowels was accented the accent spread backward to include both of them, as in ë́ ö́dekö:ni’ (*ëhatekhöni’) ‘he will eat’.

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