Massachusett language

Massachusett language
Massachusett
Wampanoag
Spoken in United States
Region Southeast Massachusetts
Ethnicity Wampanoag people, Massachusett people
Native speakers ~5 children (no adults)
Exinct late 19th century,[1]
Revived 21st century[2]  (date missing)
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 wam

The Massachusett language was a Native American language, a member of the Algonquian language family. It is also known as Wôpanâak (Wampanoag), Natick, and Pokanoket.

Massachusett was spoken by the Massachusett and the Wampanoag nations of Native Americans, who lived in the area of present-day Boston, on Cape Cod, and on the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Massachusetts. Massachusett was one of the first Native American languages which English settlers learned, and the first Bible published in the colony was a translation in Massachusett, in 1663.

Massachusett is the first Native American language to be revived in the United States after its last speakers had died; the work has been led since 1993 by Jessie Little Doe Baird and the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project.

Contents

Early translation

The first Bible published in North America was a translation of the entire Bible into Massachusett; translated and printed in 1663 by John Eliot, a missionary associated with the Indian College at Harvard. He followed with a primer in 1669, and a second edition of the Bible in 1685.[3] Eliot's missionary work led to literacy among the Wampanoag, who left many wills, deeds, and other documents written in Massachusett using the orthography he introduced. As a result of the tradition of literacy, Massachusett has a much richer documentation than many other extinct Native American languages.

The Lord's Prayer in Massachusett:

Nooshun kesukqut, wunneetupantamuch koowesuounk. Peyamooutch kukkeitasootamounk. Toh anantaman ne n-naj okheit, neane kesukqut. Asekesukokish petukqunnegash assaminnean yeu kesukok. Ahquontamaiinnean nummatcheseongatch, neane matchenehikqueagig nutahquontamanóunonog. Ahque sagkompaguninnean en qutchhuaonganit, webe pohquohwussinnan wutch matchitut. Newutche keitassootamoonk, kutahtauun, menuhkesuonk, sohsumoonk micheme kah micheme. Amen.

Revival

Since 1993 Jessie Little Doe Baird, a Mashpee Wampanoag, has led the effort to revive the language within the Wampanoag nation more than a century after it was last spoken. She earned a Master's in Algonquian Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2000, and has compiled an 10,000-word dictionary, as well as developed a Wampanoag grammar (see below).[4]

This is the first time in the United States that a language has been revived after the death of all native speakers, and in 2010 Baird was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her leadership.[2] The work of the Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) Language Reclamation Project has been documented in the film, We Still Live Here - Âs Nutayuneân, by the filmmaker Anne Makepeace; it is being shown on PBS local stations at different dates during November 2011.[2]

The work has been a collaboration among members of The Assonet Band of Wampanoag, The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah and the Herring Pond Band of Wampanoag.[5] They are training adult facilitators to teach young children and develop a curriculum; the long-term goal is to establish a school in Wôpanâak.[4]

Phonology

As reconstructed by Algonquianists, Massachusett had 11 consonants, two short vowels, and four long vowels. The consonants consisted of the stops /p/, /t/, /c/, /t͡ʃ/, and /k/; fricatives /s/ and /ʃ/; nasals /m/ and /n/; and semivowels /w/ and /j/. The short vowels were /a/ and /ə/, and the long vowels were /iː/, /uː/, /aː/, and /ãː/.[6]

References

Bibliography

  • "Wampanoag", Ethnologue
  • Jessie Little Doe Fermino. 2000. An Introduction to Wampanoag Grammar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MS thesis.
  • Goddard, Ives (1978). "Eastern Algonquian Languages" in Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 15 (Bruce G. Trigger, ed.). Washington, D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution.
  • Goddard, Ives and Kathleen J. Bragdon (eds.) (1989) Native Writings in Massachusett, Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. ISBN 0-87169-185-X
  • Moondancer and Strong Woman (2007) A Cultural History of the Native Peoples of Southern New England: Voices from Past and Present, Boulder, CO: Bauu Press. ISBN 0-97213-493-X
  • Walker, Willard B. (1997). "Native Writing Systems" in Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 17 (Ives Goddard, ed.). Washington, D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution.

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Massachusett people — Massachusett Total population 3000+ Languages Massachusett language Related ethnic groups other Algonquian peoples This article is about the Native American tribe. For the U.S. state, see Massachusetts …   Wikipedia

  • Massachusett — Wôpanâôtȣâôk Parlée aux  États Unis Région …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Massachusett (langue) — Massachusett Massachusett Parlée aux  États Unis Région  Massachusetts …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Massachusett — [mas΄ə cho͞o′sit] n. [Massachusett name of Great Blue Hill (SW of Boston), lit., at the large hill ] 1. pl. Massachusetts or Massachusett a member of a North American Indian people that lived around Massachusetts Bay 2. the Algonquian language of …   English World dictionary

  • Massachusett — This article is about the Native American tribe. For the U.S. state, see Massachusetts. The Massachusett were a tribe of Native Americans who lived in areas surrounding Massachusetts Bay in what is now the state of Massachusetts. One of the first …   Wikipedia

  • Massachusett — /mæsəˈtʃusət/ (say masuh choohsuht) noun 1. a Native American people of Algonquian stock. 2. (plural Massachusetts or Massachusett) a member of this people. 3. the extinct Algonquian language of the Massachusett people. –adjective 4. of or… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Massachusett — or Massachuset noun (plural Massachusetts or Massachusett or Massachusets or Massachuset) Etymology: Massachusett, a locality, literally, at the big hill Date: 1616 1. a member of an American Indian people of Massachusetts 2. the extinct… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Massachusett — /mas euh chooh sit/, n., pl. Massachusetts, (esp. collectively) Massachusett for 1. 1. a member of an extinct tribe of North American Indians of eastern Massachusetts. 2. the extinct Algonquian language of the Massachusett and Wampanoag Indians.… …   Universalium

  • Massachusett — /mas euh chooh sit/, n., pl. Massachusetts, (esp. collectively) Massachusett for 1. 1. a member of an extinct tribe of North American Indians of eastern Massachusetts. 2. the extinct Algonquian language of the Massachusett and Wampanoag Indians.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Massachusett — noun a) A Native American tribe who lived in the Massachusetts Bay area in the state of Massachusetts. b) The extinct Algonquian language of the Massachusett tribe. Syn: Natick, Wampanoag …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”