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Re: Chemehuevi was Re: non-English WEB sites

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, April 25, 2003, 15:04
On Friday, April 25, 2003, at 06:44  AM, Peter Clark wrote:

> On Friday 25 April 2003 12:17 am, Joe Fatula wrote: >> I'm guessing that these twelve people are older, as the final >> speakers of a >> language generally are, so they might not use computers themselves, >> but if >> you can get them to (as it seems you would they do for the website), >> I'll >> bet some of us here (me!) would enjoy learning some Chemehuevi... >> And I'd >> also bet that they'd be tickled pink to find someone online who wants >> to >> write back and forth with them in their native tongue, even if only >> rudimentary stuff. Wouldn't that be something... > Seconded. I'm really not sure if I would have the time, but > that just sounds > so tempting...Something like a bulletin board, where conversations can > be > preserved. It should link to an online grammar and dictionary, of > course.
Of course. With audio and video clips of native speakers explaining culturally significant items, all appropriately cross-linked :-). It'll be a while.
> BTW Dirk, would you mind telling us a little more about > Chemehuevi? You said > that it was a Numic/Uto-Aztecan language--any more details?
How many details do you want? :-) Chemehuevi is Southern Numic and is the southwesternmost variety of the dialect chain which includes Southern Paiute and Ute (this dialect chain is now referred to as Colorado River Numic (CR), a term which I coined in my dissertation and which seems to have caught on). It's been overshadowed in the linguistic literature by Kaibab Southern Paiute, the variety of CR which Sapir described in his grammar, dictionary and texts. There are many other varieties of CR which deserve attention: Las Vegas, Moapa, San Juan (which has received attention from Pam Bunte and the late Rob Franklin), Shivwits, Cedar City, Koosharem, Kanosh, etc, each of which diverges from its neighbors in subtle but telling ways. This dialect chain is spoken in an area which for the most part borders the Colorado River (hence the name). Historically, Numic people occupied the plateaus, while the Pai (Yuman) people occupied the river bottoms. There are CR speakers in southeastern Nevada, southern, central, and eastern Utah, northern Arizona, and western Colorado. Typologically, CR is SOV (with most of what that implies, but N-RC rather than RC-N) and has a relatively small phonemic inventory (features which are shared by all Numic languages). Case alignment is Nominative-Accusative, and the morphologically is mildly agglutinative (Shoshoni is more isolating than CR, but not significantly so). The most challenging aspects of CR are the morpho-phonology (true for all of the Numic languages) and the syntax of clitics, which I do not understand at all. There are some 2nd position tendencies, but most cliticization seems to be pre- or post- verbal. I hope that I'll have something to report this fall. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and its pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie