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To illustrate the analogy between the Mohegan, the Shawanee, and the Chippewau languages, I shall exhibit
I a short list of words of those three languages. For the list of Mohegan words, I myself am accountable. That of the Shawunee words was communicated to me by General Parsons, who has had opportunity to make a partial vocabulary of that language. For the words of the Chippewau language I am dependent on Carver's Travels.
Weeseh (I imagine mispelt, for weenseh.) Utoh
7 Weghaukun Welathoh Waughecheh
e final is never sounded in any Indian word, which I write, except monosyllables.
gh in any Indian word has the strong guttural sound, which is given by the Scots to the same letters in the words tough, enough, &c.
[Qu. Weekuwuhm ? Edır.]
The following is a specimen of analogy between the Mohegan ond Chippewau languages.
Dress the kettle >
Pootouwah (make a fire) S
Stauw Give it him
Meenuh A spirit (a spectre) Mannito How
Tuneht 8 House
Weekumuhm An impostor (he is an impostor or bad Mtissoo man) Go
Weeween Good for nought
Mkissin The sun
Keesogh Sit down
Almost every man, who writes Indian words, spells them in a peculiar manner : and I dare say, if the same person had taken down all the words above, from the mouths of the Indians, he would have spelt them more
* The first syllable scarcely sounded.
# Wherever u occurs, it has not the long sound of the English u as in commune; but the sound of u in uncle, though much protracted. The other vowels are to be pronounced as in English.
ll [Qu. Weekuwuhm? Edit.]
alike, and the coincidence would have appeared more striking. Most of those, who write and print Indian words, use the letter a where the sound is that of oh or
Hence the reader will observe, that in some of the Mohegan words above, o or oh is used, when a or ah is used in the correspondent words of the other languages; as Mquoh, Mauquah. I doubt not the sound of those two syllables is exactly the same, as pronounced by the Indians of the different tribes.
It is not to be supposed, that the like coincidence is extended to all the words of those languages. Very many words are totally different. Still the analogy is such as is sufficient to show, that they are mere dialects of the same original language.
I could not, throughout, give words of the same signification in the three languages, as the two vocabu
9 laries from which I extracted the Shawanee and Chippewau words, did not contain words of the same signification, excepting in some instances.
The Mohauk, which is the language of the Six Nations, is entirely different from that of the Mohegans. There is no more appearance of a derivation of one of these last mentioned languages from the other, than there is of a derivation of either of them from the English. One obvious diversity, and in which the Mohauk is perhaps different from every other language, is, that it is wholly destitute of labials; whereas the Mohegan abounds with labials. I shall here give the numerals, as far as ten, and the Pater Noster, in both languages.
The Pater Noster, in the Mohegan language, is as follows:
Noghnuh, pe spummuck oieon, taugh mauweh wneh wtukoseauk neanne annuwoieon. Taugh ne aunchuwutammum wawehtuseek maweh noh pummeh. Ne annoihitteech mauweh awauneek noh hkey oiecheek, ne aunchuwutammun, ne aunoihitteet neek spummuk oiecheek. Menenaunuh noonooh wuhkamauk tquogh nuh uhhuyutamauk ngummauweh. Ohquutamouwenaunuh auneh mumachoieaukeh, ne anneh ohquutamouwoieauk numpeh neek mumacheh annehoquaukeek. Cheen hquukquaucheh siukeh annehenaunuh. Panneeweh htouwenaunuh neen maumtehkeh. Keah ngwehcheh
kwiouwauweh mauweh noh pummeh; ktanwoi; 10
estah awaun wtinnoiyuwun ne aunoieyon; hanweeweh ne ktinnoieen. Amen.
The Pater Noster, in the language of the Six Nations, taken from Smith's History of New York, is this:
Soungwauneha caurounkyawga tehseetaroan sauhsoneyousta esa sawaneyou okettauhsela ehneauwoung na caurounkyawga nughwonshauga neatewebnesalauga taugwaunautoronoantoughsick toantaugweleewheyoustaung cheneeyeut chaquataulehwheyoustaunna tough
taugwaussareneh tawautottenaugaloughtoungga nasawne sacheautaugwass coantehsalohaunzaickaw esa sawauneyou esa sashoutzta esa soungwasoung chenneauhaungwa; auwen.*
The reader will observe, that there is not a single labial either in the numerals or Pater Noster of this language; and that when they come to amen, from an aversion to shutting the lips, they change the m to w.t
In no part of these languages does there appear to be a greater coincidence, than in this specimen. I have never noticed one word in either of them, which has any analogy to the correspondent word in the other language.
Concerning the Mohegan language, it is observable, that there is no diversity of gender, either in nouns or pronouns. The very same words express he and she,
[See Note 1. EDIT.]
† [See Note 2. EDIT.]
him and her.* Hence, when the Mohegans speak English, they generally in this respect follow strictly their own idiom :
A man will say concerning his wife, he sick, he gone away, &c.
With regard to cases, they have but one variation from the nominative, which is formed by the addition of the syllable an; as wnechun, his child, wnechunan. This varied case seems to suit indifferently any case, except the nominative.t
The plural is formed by adding a letter or syllable to the singular; as nemannauw, a man, nemannauk, men: penumpausoo, a boy, penumpausoouk, boys.I
The Mohegans more carefully distinguish the natu- 11 ral relations of men to each other, than we do, or perhaps any other nation. They have one word to express an elder brother, netohcon; another to express a younger
; brother, ngheesum. One to express an elder sister, nmase ; another to express a younger sister, ngheesum. But the word for younger brother and younger sister is the same, -Nsase is my uncle by my mother's side: nuchehque is my uncle by the father's side.
The Mohegans have no adjectives in all their language; unless we reckon numerals and such words as all
, many, &c. adjectives. || Of adjectives which express the qualities of substances, I do not find that they have any. They express those qualities by verbs neuter; as wnissoo, he is beautiful ; mtissoo, he is homely; pehtuhquissoo, he is tall ; nsconmoo, he is malicious, &c. Thus in Latin many qualities are expressed by verbs neuter, as valeo, caleo, frigeo, &c.—Although it may at first seem not only singular and curious, but impossible, that a language should exist without adjectives; yet it is an indubitable fact. Nor do they seem to suffer any
inconvenience by it. They as readily express any quality by a neuter verb, as we do by an adjective.
If it should be inquired, how it appears that the words above mentioned are not adjectives; I answer it appears,
* [See Note 3. Edit.]
# [See Note 5. Edit.]