A Grammar of Southern Unami Delaware (Lenape) (Paperback)
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A Grammar of the Southern Unami Dialect of the Delaware Language (Lenape):
This grammar of the Southern Unami language describes the phonology, the inflectional and
derivational morphology, and some aspects of sentence and discourse structure. It does not
include a formal treatment of syntax. The treatment of these topics in Delaware Verbal
Morphology (Goddard 1979) has been entirely recast, and there are now sections on additional
topics that substantially fill out the description of this often complex and idiosyncratic
Algonquian language. The facts are presented discursively in small modules with examples.
The phonemic transcription has been improved by writing the phonemic contrast between
the long and short fricatives between vowels and after /n/, and by greater consistency in writing
the marginally distinctive contrast between /u/ and the unrounded mid-central vowel, especially
The extensive phonological alternations are illustrated with examples of morphological
contexts in which they characteristically appear. Static words, syllables, and segments (which
have short phonemes inconsistent with the more usual phonological patterns) are treated. The
inflection of nouns, pronouns, and verbs is described and illustrated with extensive paradigms,
and particles, including enclitics, are treated.
The processes of stem derivation are outlined for primary stems and for secondary stems
(those derived from another stem). The types of reduplication are described. Several kinds of
compounds are distinguished and illustrated.
The basic facts of sentence structure are presented, including the function of absolute and
objective transitive verbs (to mark distinctions of definiteness) and the use of oblique
complements and adjuncts. Other features discussed include verbless sentences, participles
(relative clauses), focus-fronting, discontinuous constituents, and gapping.
Southern Unami is the heritage language of the Delaware Tribe of Indians (Bartlesville,
Okla.) and the Delaware Nation of Western Oklahoma (Anadarko).