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The accent on oo being made short, the meaning of the verb is changed to the word speak.
Adjectives make the plural in guick, as tranquille, Ooantakeg-pl., Ooantakeguick.
Their Adjectives are words noble or ignoble, and distinguished by a termination accordingly, both in the singular and plural.
Pegili-prefixed expresses the comparative and superlative.
The personal pronouns are Nil, I; Ki, Thou; Negueum, He, Him; Kinoo and Ninen, We; Kilau, You; Negmau, They.
The possessives are formed by the initials of the personals and of aye, as Naye, mine, &c.
The plurals are regularly formed by changing the terminations of the singular in the same manner, as in the following example:
K' Nixkaminal-our Gods.
K' Nixkamooal—your Gods.
Oo' Nixkamooal-their Gods.
It should have been remarked in regard to the Micmacs, as well as to the Norridgewock tongue, that the French orthography and pronunciation are preserved, as the French are the only written or printed authorities, and the pronunciation is generally understood. The substantive, being only the name of a thing, and undergoing no changes but those of number, and gender, and case, is less interesting, except in those languages where it is modified by synthesis, than some of the other parts of speech, simply as such. As affected by syntax and in other respects, it may be more engaging. Of the syntax, by the way, of the Abenaquis, no writer seems to have taken any notice.
In the Micmac language, the plural of the names of inanimate things is formed by adding al, el, il, oul.
Diminutives of all nouns are formed by adding chich, and the word is amplified by prefixing To, or K'chi, as Oolakan, Plat, Oolakanel, Plats. Petit plat, Oolakanchich, pl., Oolakanelchich. Grand plat, K'chioolakan,-pl., K'chioolakanel.
Iktook, being added signifies in, as oolakaniktook, dans plat, i. e. in the dish.
This language, as well as the Penobscot has the Dual number of nouns.
The Plural of names of animate things is formed by adding k or gik, according to the termination of the singular.
The use of hieroglyphics is a natural expedient whenever it becomes necessary to speak to the eye, which is done by manual signs, motions of the body, and expression of the countenance, as in the instruction of the deaf and dumb; or by pictures, which, to those who understand not that wonderful contrivance, the alphabet, may be substituted. The Indians generally, in their earliest intercourse with the whites, ere interpreters could be found, or arbitrary signs agreed upon, resorted much more than they now do, to those methods of communication both among themselves and the white men. Hence we find that in the ancient treaties, instead of using, as at present, the unmeaning subscription of a cross, attested by a witness, they applied a designating sign manual, less rude than that of kings and noblemen in civilized countries at a distant period in history. Thus, in the treaty made at Falmouth in the year 1649—with the Penobscot, Norridgewock, and other Indians, Wawawnunka signed by the figure of the body and leg of a man, Nattoonos by the image of a fish, Seboowouset by that of a fly, and others by various strange and uncouth drawings. For the same reason their speeches in early times were more figurative and poetical than at present, because they were obliged to be descriptive, and resort to natural rather than agreed signs of thought; and made draughts on nature rather than on the selfchartered corporation of the lettered men, who made their own currency for ideas.
The belts of tribes were a species of hieroglyphic representa. tion. "The Penobscots," said Loron, their speaker, in a conference with the Lieut. Governor of Massachusetts Bay in 1725, “sent belts to those tribes, and they sent their belts to the Penobscot tribe, for a confirmation of their agreeing to what shall be concluded, which belts are lodged with our chiefs, which is equivalent to a writing, or articles under their hands." The sacred character of a legal indenture was stamped only by a belt. Without the interchange of that symbol, "a talk” could only create honorary obligations, and the form and impress of law was not considered to be upon it. Among the tribes of
Maine, no messenger was accredited without his wampum belt, and from this single circumstance it is evident that the hieroglyphic marks identified it as genuine, and secured the nations against the arts to which confidence in a blank fabric would have subjected them. Ruin or safety depended on the reading of a belt, and in all history we have no account of that record having been counterfeited or falsified. We have been fed to repletion with stories of Indian faithlessness; but where is the authentication of the profaning of a faith pledged by this hieroglyphic belt, in which excuse ought not to bave followed accusation, and explanation satisfied inquiry ? Reiterated wrong has exploded precedent compacts, and the instances of war succeeding pacification are not few; but as to faith, if the English faith was English, the Indian was not Punic.
The diversities in the Indian tongues, especially of those radically the same, are the more astonishing when we consider how rare has been the process in other countries by which the effect has been produced. Indeed, we do not know from history of a language being formed since the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel. The English language has undoubtedly been essentially changed, but it has been more in orthography than sound, and in the introduction than in the creation of new words. For more than two hundred years the Roman legions were quartered in Britain and disseminated there the knowledge and use of the Latin tongue. The Saxon conquerors succeeded to the Roman, and the Danes and the Normans followed in turn, each employing the customary means to imbue the vernacular language of the English with foreign idioms and terms; but who were the conquerors who imposed upon the tribes of Maine their dialects, and without the instrumentality of writing and printing, without schools, and without the consolidation of compact society, taught the vagrant hunters to forget the most fixed of the records of memory, and to place in their stead a new and strange vocabulary. It has seldom been the practice with Indians to sit down under the dominion of conquerors, or to amalgamate with triumphant invaders. They defend themselves with their lives, or they fly to occupy other grounds than those which are claimed by a successful foe.
The French language was formed not only by the instrumentality of conquest, but by various other means; yet it was the work of thirteen hundred years to give it its form and finishing. This progress was indeed slow; but it was from a cause which has always operated with savages, the warlike habits of the people; habits which produce a stationary condition in the arts of peace. In the instance of the French, as with other mixed languages of Europe, we trace the existing compound to the ancient original languages, as the Latin, Celtic, &c., and it is not strange that compositions of the elements here existing should have resulted in various forms of Spanish, Italian, French, and English character. But what primitive tongues, or what derivative ones are united to form the vast varieties of dialects of the Algonquin or the Leni Lenape? what migrations, conquests, alliances, or other causes, have wrought such mutations, while convenience, habit, and nature are opposed to all change ? Without the means of solving these inquiries, the time for doing which has long since elapsed, we are left only to the painful resource of conjecture. We can only conclude that, in distant antiquity, the native inhabitants of this land, of the various races which belonged to it, have intermingled intimately and extensively in peace, and been often compelled into political amalgamation by war; that different tribes have occupied long together the same cabins, united in marriage, and as they mingled their blood, compromised also their pride and obstinacy of habit, by melting their languages together, and forming a currency for oral communication, of a new stamp and heterogeneous character.
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE CATHOLIC MISSIONS
About the year sixteen hundred and ten, the condition of the settlement which Poutrincourt had made at Port Royal in Acadia, required him to send his son Biencourt to France for aid from that country. The Queen Regent, mother of the infant Louis XIII, was satisfied with directing her attention to the spiritual concerns of the New World, and her policy was confined to imposing upon Poutrincourt two Jesuits, the fathers Biart and Massé. The persons concerned in fitting out the expedition destined for the young colony, refused to receive those holy men, unless they would contribute to reimburse the expense they should occasion. A charitable donation of two thousand crowns enabled the pious fathers not only to remove the difficulty, but to make some provision of temporal good, by the purchase of a share in the adventure. This measure has been satirically remarked upon; but it should be recollected that the duty of benevolence to their order was considered as of primary obligation; and if it was not discharged, it was but a substitute for it in them to appropriate the misdirected charity, intended for other purposes, to the comfort of the missionary. Besides, the society were in the habit of offering some hundred thousand masses and rosaries per annum for the benefit of souls, and notwithstanding their vow of poverty, it had long been found by them entirely proper to extend their salutary influence, by gathering all the riches they could, and converting their missions to factories which secured much of the trade of the world.