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Michif (was Re: Irregularality in languages)

From:Mike Ellis <nihilsum@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 26, 2003, 18:03
Rachel Klippenstein wrote:

>I have read of a really interesting language that >could be described as an anti-creole, much more than >English. I believe it's called Michif or Michif Cree. > It's a language that is a mixture of Cree and French, >spoken (or formerly spoken?) by Metis people somewhere >on the Canadian prairies (Manitoba?). Apparently it >takes many of the more complex parts of eaxh input >language. For the most part, the verb phrase >vocabulary, syntax, and phonology are Cree-like, while >the noun-phrase vocabulary, syntax and phonology are >mostly French like. However, one of the more complex >parts of Cree made it into the syntax, so there are >something like 7 degrees of deictic words (like "this" >and "that"). Also, nouns have both French genders >(masculine and feminine), used when agreeing with >french-derived articles, and Cree genders (animate and >inanimate, I think), used when agreeing with >Cree-derived words.
Michif is very interesting. The nouns have no inflection; number is marked only on the article. Verbs, on the other hand, have a prefix-root suffix system, where the prefix carries tense and the suffix inflects for singular or plural. I searched and found these sites on Michif: Some grammar and lessons (some of the pages are missing) at Rosetta Project (only a couple of pages): ethnocode=CRG M