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more recently in the Mithridates) and, as this Primer is now a rare book among us, and this copy of the prayer is not published in the Mithridates, the Editor has thought it might be useful to insert it in this place:

From the Mohawk Primer.

From Edwards' Observations.

Songwaniha ne Karonghyage Soungwauneha caurounkyawga tighsideron, Wasaghseanadogegh- tehseetaroan sauhsoneyousta esa tine; Sayanert 'sera iewe; Tagh-sawaneyou oketiauhsela ehneauserre eghniyawan tsiniyought ka- woung 'na caurounkyawga nughronghyà kouh oni Oghwhentsyage: wonshauga neatewehnesalauga Niyadewighneserage tacwanada- taugwaunautoronoantoughsick toranondaghsik nonwa;

neoni antaugweleewheyoustaung chetondacwarighwiyoughston,

tsini- neeyeut

chaquataulehwheyouyought oni Tsyakwadaderighwi- staunna toughsou taugwaussareyoughsteani; neoni toghsa tac- neh tawautottenaugaloughtoungga waghsarineght Tewadatdenake- nasawne sacheautaugwass coanraghtonke nesane sadsyadac- tehsalohaunzaickaw esa sawaunewaghs Kondighseròhease. you esa sashoutzta esa soupgwaAmen."*

soung chenneauhaungwa; auwen.



The Labials.

P. 10. Baron La Hontan, in speaking of the want of labials in the Huron language (which belongs to the same family with the Mohawk, mentioned by Edwards) relates the following fact, to show the extreme difficulty, which the Indians of that stock experience in learning the European languages, on account of the labials. The particular combinations of sounds, into which the Indians naturally fall, when attempting to speak those languages, may be of some use in the prosecution of these inqui

, ries :

“ The Hurons and the Iroquois, (says he) not having the labials in their languages, it is almost impossible for them to

* The learned Vater, whose vigilance in these researches nothing can escape, refers to an edition of this Mohawk Primer of the year 1781, and the Common Prayer, in the same language, of the year 1769. See Mithridates, vol. iji. part 3, p. 313, note. The only editions, which have come under the Editor's notice are, the Primer of 1786, and the Common Prayer of 1787.; both of which are in the library of Harvard University.

acquire the French language well. I have spent four days in making some Hurons pronounce the labials, but without success; and I do not believe, they would be able to pronounce these French words, bon, fils, monsieur, Pontchartrain, in ten years; for instead of saying bon, they would say ouon; for fils they would say rils; for monsieur, caonsieur, and for Pontchartrain, Conchartrain."



P. 10. " is observable that there is no diversity of gender, either in nouns or pronouns. The very same words express he and she, him and her."

So Eliot says of the Massachusetts dialect : “ The variation of Nouns is not by male and female, as in other, learned languages, and in European nations they do ;" but (as he observes afterwards) the nouns are classed under the two divisions of animate and inanimate, comprehending, respectively, the names of animate and inanimate things; under the latter of which, be says, are included the names of all Vegetables. See his Gram. pp. 9. 10. Eliot does not expressly state, as Edwards does, that the same word expresses he and she ; but in bis Grammar he does not give any distinct word for she, and in his Bible he uses the same term for she (namely noh) which in bis Grammar is translated he. For examples, see the book of Ruth, i. 3; ij. 3, 13, &c. In other places the word noh seems to be equivalent to the demonstrative pronoun this or that or (what is the same thing) the article the : “ Nob Moabitseh squa—it is the Moabitish damsel,” &c. Ruth ïi. 6.

Mr. Heckewelder, in speaking of the Delaware language, has the following remarks upon this point : “ In the Indian languages, those discriminating words or inflexions, which we call genders, are not, as with us, in general intended to distinguish between male and female beings, but between animate and inanimate things or substances. Trees and plants (annual plants

( and grasses excepted) are included within the generick class of animated beings. Hence the personal pronoun bas only two modes, if I can so express myself; one applicable to the animate, and the other to the inanimate gender ; nekama is the personal pronominal form, which answers to he and she in Eng


lish. If you wish to distinguish between the sexes, you must add to it the word man or woman. Thus, nekama lennio means he or this man; hekama ochqueu, she or this woman. This may appear strange to a person exclusively accustomed to our forms of speech; but I assure you the Indians have no difficulty in understanding each other.” Correspondence with Mr. Du Ponceau, p. 368, Letter vii. The reader will observe here an apparent difference of opinion between Eliot and Mr. Heckewelder, in respect to the class of nouns, in which vegetables are ranked in these two dialects; the former calling all vegetables" inanimate, and the latter ranking trees and plants (annual plants and grasses excepted) in the class of animated beings. This apparent contradiction was alluded to in Mr. Du Ponceau's Notes to Eliot's Grammar (p. xiii.) as well as in the Introductory Obserrations to the same work. If there is, in reality, this difference between two kindred dialects, and in a peculiar characteristick of the Indian languages, the fact is a very remarkable one.

In the Delaware language (according to Mr. Zeisberger the male of quadrupeds is expressed by lennowechum, which signifies the male of beasts, thus-Lennowechum nenayunges, moccaneu, goschgosch, the male of the horse, dog, hog; and of fowls and birds, by lennowehelleu, the male of fowls and birds. The females of fowls and birds are called ochquehhelleu, and those of quadrupeds, ochquechum.MS. Grammar. See also the remarks of Mr. Heckewelder on this point, in the letter last cited; where he adds (in conformity with Mr. Zeisberger also) that “there are some animals, the females of which have a particular distinguishing name, as nunschetto, a doe; nunscheach, a she-bear.”


The Cases.

P. 10. "With regard to cases, they have but one variation from the nominative," &c.

Eliot also observes, that in the Massachusetts dialect, the nouns are not “varied by cases, cadencies and endings;" he, however, adds—"yet there seemeth to be one cadency or case of the first declination of the form animate, which endeth in oh, uh or ah, viz. when an animate noun followeth a verb transitive, whose_object that he acteth upon is without himself.” Gram. p. 8. But see Mr. Du. Ponceau's Notes on Eliot's Gram. p. xiv.

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In the Delaware, Mr. Zeisberger observes, that there are "no declensions as we have in our language ; but this makes no deficiency in theirs, as their place is sufficiently supplied by the inseparable pronouns and by verbs, which I call personal, or in the personal mood, because I do not know another name for them." * MS. Grammar.

In the Mexican language (says Gilij) the noun bas no other inflexion, than that which serves to distinguish the singular number from the plural, as in our language.” Saggio di Storia Americana, toin. jji. p. 229. The same writer observes, also, that “in none of the Orinokese languages are the nouns declined after the Greek and Latin manner; for they have only two terminations, for the singular and plural numbers, as in Italian.” Ibid. p. 162 .

On the other hand, the Quichuan (or Peruvian) language is said to have, in addition to the six cases of the Latin, a seventh case, which is called by Father Torres Rubio the effectivo (the sign of which is with) denoting, sometimes the instrument with which an act is done, and soinetimes the concomitancy of one act with another.t


The Numbers.

P. 10. “ The plural is formed by adding a letter or syllable to the singular,&c.

One of the most remarkable features of the American languages is, the variety and mode of using the Numbers of the nouns and pronouns. Some of them (the Guaranese, for example) have only a singular number, and are destitute of a distinct form for the plural.I Some, on the other hand, bave not only the singular and plural, but a dual also, like the Greek and various other languages of the eastern continent; while a third


* In the South American languages they are called, by the Spanish grammarians,

transitions. † Arte y Vocabulario de la engua Quichua General de los Indios de el Peru. Lima, 1754.

In the Guaranese language (which is the common fashionable language of Paraguay) according to Gilij, “ the plural number has no distinguishing mark from that which is called the singular. To designate a inultitude, the Guaranese use either the word hetà (many) or the numerals themselves.”' Saggio di Storia Americana, vol. iii. p. 251. VOL. X.




class of them has not only a singular, dual, and plural (that is the common unlimited plural of the European languages) but also an additional plural, which is denominated by some writers the exclusive plural, by others the particular plural, and by others the limited plural; but which, if it should prove to be peculiar to the languages of this continent, might very properly be called the American plural, as was suggested on a former occasion.* For an explanation of this number in the Delawareand Chippeway languages, the reader is referred to the Correspondence of Mr. Heckewelder with Mr. Du Ponceau (Historical Transactions, vol. i. p. 429,) and to Mr. Du Ponceau's Notes on Eliot's Grammar, p. xix. To the remarks there made, the Editor will only add a few extracts from writers on the South American languages, to show the general resemblance of the languages in different parts of the continent.

Gilij, in his account of the languages of the Orinoco country, after mentioning the great simplicity of the nouns (which have no cases) makes the following observations upon the use of the nouns in composition with the pronouns of the different nunbers :

“But, easy as the knowledge of the inflexions of the nouns is, when they are used by themselves and unconnected with a person, it is excessively difficult and perplexing to acquire the various and inconceivable inflexions of the contracted (or combined) nouns.

I shall presently speak of the primitive pronouns, and the particles which distinguish them; but at present I shall speak of the inflexions of the nouns ; and it is necessary to mention the numerous ones, which those nouns have, that I call contracted.

“ Let us, then, take a noun which begins with a vowel ; for example, the word apòto, a rule. As it stands here, indeed, it is an absolute and independent word; but in contracting (or combining) it with the particles of the possessive pronouns, it is declined, if I may so speak, in the following manner :

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“ Thus far every thing is not only clear, but methodical ; but at this point the embarrassment of novices in the language be

* See Notes on Eliot's Grammar, p. xix

† The reader will take care to pronounce these words according to the powers of the Italian alphabet.

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