Takelma /təˈkɛlmə/ is the language that was spoken by the Latgawa and Takelma peoples and the Cow Creek band of Upper Umpqua, in Oregon, USA. The language was extensively described by the German-American linguist Edward Sapir in his graduate thesis, The Takelma Language of Southwestern Oregon (1912). Sapir’s grammar together with his Takelma Texts (1909) are the main sources of information on the language. Both are based on work carried out in 1906 with language consultant Frances Johnson (Takelma name Kʷìskʷasá:n),[1] who lived on to become the last surviving fluent speaker. In 1934, with her death at the age of 99, the language became extinct. An English-Takelma dictionary is currently being created on the basis of printed sources with the aim of reviving the language.[2]

Takelma
Ta:kɛlmàʔn
Native toUnited States
RegionOregon, Rogue Valley along the middle course of the Rogue River
EthnicityTakelma, Latgawa, Cow Creek band of Upper Umpqua
Extinct1934, with the death of Frances Johnson
Revival[Cow Creek band of Umpqua tribe] has a small group of L2 speakers
Language codes
ISO 639-3tkm
Glottologtake1257
Takelma (south), with the Kalapuyan languages to the north
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Name edit

The commonly used English name of the language is derived from Ta:-kɛlm-àʔn, the self-name of the Takelma people, which means "those dwelling along the Rogue River (Ta:-kɛlám)".[3]

Dialects edit

There were at least four Takelma dialects:[4]

  • Lower Takelma, Sapir's Takelma proper, spoken in the Rogue Valley in southwestern Oregon
  • Upper Takelma or Latgawa, spoken along the upper Rogue River in southwestern Oregon
  • Takelma B, known from a vocabulary recorded by W.H. Barnhardt in 1859
  • Takelma H, known from a vocabulary recorded by W.B. Hazen in 1857

A few nouns are attested for all four dialects:[5]

Lower Upper B H
"dog" ts’ìxi ts’isi tši:ki: tši:hwi:
"wolf" pá:xtis maym pa:xtiš poktiš
"water" si txi: hwi:
"nose" sini:x- tsin- šinik- šiniš
"beaver" spí:n tspink špin spin
"(grizzly) bear" mèna menák mena mena

Classification edit

Takelma is accepted as one of the many language isolates of North America. Writing in 1909, Sapir stated that "the Takelma language represents one of the distinct linguistic stocks of North America".[6] He later revised his opinion, and assigned Takelma to the hypothetical Penutian language family,[7] a grouping that at present is not generally considered established.[8] Over the years, several linguists have presented evidence which, in their view, linked Takelma to the other "Penutian" languages, in particular the Kalapuyan languages. A reexamination of the evidence by Tarpent and Kendall (1998, unpublished) however showed that purported lexical and grammatical similarities between Takelma and other languages were erroneous, and they concluded that Takelma is indeed an isolate.[9]

Phonology edit

Consonants edit

Takelma has 22 phonemic consonants which occur in normal speech. In addition, there are two consonants of restricted use:[10]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
plain sibilant plain labialized
Nasal m n
Plosive/
Affricate
plain p t k ʔ
aspirated kʷʰ
ejective tsʼ kʼʷ
Fricative (ɬ) s x h
Approximant l j w

Two consonants do not occur in normal everyday speech: voiceless alveolar lateral fricative /ɬ/ and voiceless alveopalatal fricative /ɕ/. In the narration of myths, /ɬ/ is the "grizzly-bear prefix" which can be prefixed to any word in the reported speech of the grizzly bear, symbolizing the animal's coarseness; and /ɕ/ is the "coyote prefix", prefixed to words in the reported speech of the coyote; thus /kʷìti/ "where?" (normal speech), /ɬkʷìti/ (grizzly bear speaking), /ɕkʷìti/ (coyote speaking).[11]

Consonants /s/ and /ts’/ have optional alveopalatal allophones [ɕ] and [tɕ’], which occur mainly in word-initial position before a vowel, and intervocalically.[12]

Semivowels /w/ and /y/ are vocalized in syllable-final position, for example:[13]

/piliw-átʰ/ [piliwátʰ] "you jump" vs /piliw-tʰɛʔ/ [piliutʰɛʔ] "I jump"
/ka:y-àʔtʰ/ [ka:yàʔtʰ] "he will grow" vs /ka:y-kʰ/ [ka:ikʰ] "he grew"

Vowels edit

Takelma has six vowel qualtities, with contrastive length: /a ɛ i o ʉ u/ and /a: ɛ: i: o: ʉ: u:/. The vowel /ɛ/ is open, /o/ is close.[14] Sapir also notes the existence of close /e:/, as in [la:le:tʰam] "you became", [kane:hiʔ] "and then", which he considers to be an (apparently unconditioned) allophone of /i:/.[15]

Pitch-accent edit

Stressed syllable are pronounced with a pitch-accent, as described by Sapir:[16]

  1. a simple pitch distinctly higher than the normal pitch of unstressed speech;
  2. a rising inflection that starts at, or a trifle above, the normal pitch, and gradually slides up to the same higher pitch referred to above;
  3. a falling inflection that starts at, or generally somewhat higher than, the raised pitch of (1) and (2), and gradually slides down to fall either in the same or immediately following syllable, to pitch somewhat lower than the normal [high pitch].

The rising pitch (2) is clearly a conditioned realization of the high pitch (1) that occurs with syllables containing a long vowel, or syllables which end in a resonant /m n l w y/.[17] High pitch can thus be said to be phonetically realized on the latter part of a long vowel, or on a syllable-final resonant:[18]

/kʷá:n/ [kʷaán] "trail"
/mɛ́:x / [mɛɛ́x] "crane"
/pí:kʰʷ/ [piíkʰʷ] "skunk"
/nó:x/ [noóx] "rain"
/hú:lkʰ/ [huúlkʰ] "panther"
/kʰʉlʉ́:m/ [kʰʉlʉʉ́m] "fish (sp.)"
/tasmayám/ [tasmayaḿ] "he smiled"
/nánk/ [nańk] "he will say"
/kʷáltʰ/ [kʷaĺtʰ] "wind"
/kayáw/ [kayaú] "he ate it"
/ká:y/ [ka:í] "grow!"

There is no pitch in words that are pronounced without stress. As Sapir comments, "it not infrequently happens that the major part of a clause will thus be strung along with-out decided stress-accent until some emphatic noun or verb-form is reached", as in the sentence:

kane:hiʔ

and then

tɛwɛnxa

tomorrow

la:le:

it became

honoʔ

again

pʰɛlɛ̀xaʔ

they went out to war

kane:hiʔ tɛwɛnxa la:le: honoʔ pʰɛlɛ̀xaʔ

{and then} tomorrow {it became} again {they went out to war}

"and then, the next day, they went out to war again"

"All that precedes the main verb form /pʰɛlɛ̀xaʔ/ 'they went out to war' is relatively un-important, and hence is hurried over without anywhere receiving marked stress [or pitch]".[19]

Sapir's transcription edit

The transcription system used by Sapir (1909, 1912) is the then current version of the Americanist phonetic notation, which has long since been superseded. Its use in the publications of Sapir and other linguists working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries now impedes accessibility to the modern linguist. Below is a table pairing Sapir's notations with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Note especially Sapir's idiosyncratic way of marking pitch.

Sapir IPA Sapir IPA Sapir IPA
m /m/ a /a/ o /o/
n /n/ a` /á/ o` /ó/
b, p /p/ a´, á /à/ o´, ó /ò/
d /t/ ā, āᵃ /a:/ ō, ōᵘ /o:/
g /k/ ã /á:/ õ /ó:/
gw /kʷ/ ā´ᵃ /à:/ ō´ᵘ /ò:/
p‛ /pʰ/
t‛ /tʰ/ e /ɛ/ u /u/
k‛ /kʰ/ e` /ɛ́/ u` /ú/
k‛w, k‛ʷ /kʰʷ/ e´, é /ɛ̀/ u´, ú /ù/
p! /p’/ eᵉ, è /ɛ:/ ū, ūᵘ /u:/
t! /t’/ /ɛ́:/ ũ /ú:/
k! /k’/ e´ᵉ /ɛ̀:/ ū´ᵘ /ù:/
k!w /k’ʷ/
/ʔ/ i /i/ ü /ʉ/
s /s/ i` /í/ ü` /ʉ́/
s·, c [ɕ] for /s/, /ɕ/* i´, í /ì/ ü´ /ʉ̀/
x /x/ ī, īⁱ /i:/ üᵘ, ǖ /ʉ:/
h /h/ ĩ /í:/ ü̃ /ʉ́:/
ts! /ts’/ ī´ⁱ /ì:/ ü´ᵘ /ʉ̀:/
ts·!, tc! [cɕ’] for /ts’/
ł, ʟ /ɬ/* [Vú] for /V́u/ ä [æ]*
l /l/ [Ví] for /V́i/ â [ɔ:] for /a:/
w /w/ Vl̃ [Vĺ] for /V́l/ ô [ɔ] for /a/
y /j/ Vm̃ [Vḿ] for /V́m/ û, ᴀ [ʌ] for /a/
dj [dʒ]* [Vń] for /V́n/ [ə]*
Vⁿ [Ṽ] for /Vn/ ē [e:] for /i:/ (?)

(Phones marked with * occur in interjections and in sound-symbolic forms, but not in normal speech; [ə] is also epenthetic.)

Grammar edit

Takelma, like many Native American languages, is polysynthetic meaning that one can link together many different morphemes to form a word. Therefore one single word can often contain a lot of information that in English would be portrayed in a full sentence. This is mainly done by adding affixes to verbs.

Tense edit

Takelma has 6 different "tenses" listed below with the first (aorist) being the basic tense which is equivalent to the immediate future, present, and past.

  1. Aorist
  2. Potential
  3. Future
  4. Inferential
  5. Present Imperative
  6. Future Imperative

Person and possession edit

In Takelma, possession is marked by a set of affixes. Most of them are suffixes but there is one prefix. Below is a table of the four declensional sets.

I II III IV
1st
person
singular wi- -t/tʰekʰ ´-tʰkʰ -té:
plural -tam -tam -tam -tam
2nd
person
singular `-ʔtʰ -t/tʰeʔ `-ʔtʰ -taʔ
plural -ʔtʰpan -t/tʰapaʔn `-ʔtʰpan tapaʔn or `-ʔtʰpan
3rd
person
singular/plural -(x) -t/tʰ `-(tʰ) `-ta
singular reflexive -(x)akʷa -t/tʰakʷa `-tʰkʷa `-tʰkʷa or `-takʷa
plural -(x)akʷan -t/tʰakʷan `-tʰkʷan `-takʷan or `-tʰkʷan

Set I is only ever used with terms of kinship. For example:

wi-wá:

wi-wá:

‘my younger brother’

wà:-ʔtʰ

wà:-ʔtʰ

‘your younger brother’

wi:-xa

wi:-xa

‘his younger brother’

Set II is used with bare stems or stems having the formant. For example:

-x:hè:l

-x:hè:l

‘song’

hè:l-tʰekʰ

hè:l-tʰekʰ

‘my song’

hè:l-tʰa

hè:l-tʰa

‘his song’

tàkax-tekʰ

tàkax-tekʰ

‘my head’

tàkax-ta

tàkax-ta

‘his head’

Alternations between –t and –tʰ in set II and set IV is regular and predictable.

Set III is used with stems having other formants. For example:

xá:n

xá:n

‘urine’

xa:lám-tʰkʰ

xa:lám-tʰkʰ

‘my urine’

xa:lám

xa:lám

‘his urine’

tán

tán

‘rock’

taná-tʰkʰ

taná-tʰkʰ

‘my rock’

taná

taná

‘his rock’

p’á:-n

p’á:-n

‘liver’

p’á:n-tʰkʰ

p’á:n-tʰkʰ

‘my liver’

p’á:n-tʰ

p’á:n-tʰ

‘his liver’

Set IV is used in locative constructions. For example:

ha-wili-té

ha-wili-té

‘in my house’

versus

wili-tʰkʰ

wili-tʰkʰ

‘my house’

xa:-kʷel-té

xa:-kʷel-té

‘between my legs’

versus

kʷé:lx-tekʰ

kʷé:lx-tekʰ

‘my legs’

wa-té

wa-té

‘to me’

[20]

[21]

Object markers edit

Takelma has a complex system of verbal pronominal suffixes and is also accompanied by the loss of case markers on nouns. This represents a complete shift to full head marking. In the 3rd person object marker in Takelma, the suffix –kʰwa which is realized on the verb. However the distribution of –kʰwa is very restricted.

full set of object markers
Singular Plural
1st -xi -am
2nd -pi -ampʰ
3rd ∅/ -kʰwa ∅/ -kʰwa

For the 1st and 2nd person objects overt marking is required with clear difference between singular and plural. For 3rd person there is no difference between singular and plural and there is also alternation between the suffix –kʰwa and zero suffix.

The zero variant occurs with animates as well as inanimate, covert pronouns, and overt nominals.

However –kʰwa occurs in three distinct environments. First, when the subject is also 3rd person. Second, it is always used when the object is higher in animacy than the subject. This means that the object refers to a human also a mythic animal that is thought of as a human being. The third situation is when the subject and object are of equal animacy but the object outranks the subject in topicality.[22]

Numerals edit

These are listed by Sapir as follows:[23]

1 mì:ʔskaʔ, mì(:)ʔs "once" mʉ:ʔxtán
2 kà:p’iní ~ kà:pʔiní, kà:ʔm "twice" kà:ʔman
3 xìpiní, xín 3 x xíntʰ
4 kamkàm 4 x kamkàman
5 tɛ́:hal 5 x tɛ́:haltan
6 haʔi:mì:ʔs 6 x haʔi:mìts’atán
7 haʔi:kà:ʔm 7 x haʔi:kà:ʔmatán
8 haʔi:xín 8 x haʔi:xíntán
9 haʔi:kó 9 x haʔi:kó:katán
10 ìxtì:l 10 x ìxti:ltán
11 ìxtì:l mì:ʔskaʔ katákʰ
12 ìxtì:l kà:ʔm katákʰ
20 jap’amìʔs 20 x jap’amìts’atan
30 xìn ixti:l
40 kamkàman ixtì:l
50 tɛ́:haltan ixtì:l
60 haʔi:mìts’atan ixtì:l
70 haʔi:kà:ʔmatan ixtì:l
80 haʔi:xìntan ixtì:l
90 haʔi:ko:katàn ixtì:l
100 t’ɛimìʔs
200 kà:ʔman t’ɛimìʔs
300 xín t’ɛimìʔs
400 kamkàman t’ɛimìʔs
1000 ìxti:ltan t’ɛimìʔs
2000 jap’amìts’atan t’ɛimìʔs
5000 tɛ́:haltan ìxti:ltán t’ɛimìʔs

References edit

  1. ^ Sapir 1909:5 Gwísgwashãn.
  2. ^ Achen 2008.
  3. ^ Sapir 1912:7 Dāᵃ-gelmaˊᵋn, 223 Dāᵃ-gela`m /Ta:-kɛlám/ "Rogue River", 222 suffix -aˊᵋ(n) /-àʔ(n)/ "person(s) coming from".
  4. ^ Kendall 1982:78, with further references.
  5. ^ Kendall 1982:81.
  6. ^ Sapir 1909:5.
  7. ^ Sapir's full 1929 classification scheme including the Penutian proposal can be seen here: Classification of indigenous languages of the Americas#Sapir (1929): Encyclopædia Britannica.
  8. ^ Mithun 2018:205.
  9. ^ Mithun 2018:206, with further references.
  10. ^ Sapir 1912:31 lists (ɬ) in his table of consonants, but in 1912:8 note 2 he points out the existence of both (ɬ) and similarly used (ɕ), which is added to the table here.
  11. ^ Sapir 1912:8 note 2, also Sapir 1909:56 note 2, and 118 note 2).
  12. ^ Sapir 1912:35.
  13. ^ Sapir 1912:11.
  14. ^ Sapir 1912:11, 14.
  15. ^ Sapir 1912:13.
  16. ^ Sapir 1912:16.
  17. ^ Sapir 1912:16, also Mithun 1999:515.
  18. ^ Sapir 1912 marks the "delayed" high pitch with a tilde: 216 gwãn, mẽx, bĩk‛ʷ, nõx, hũlk‛, 47 külü̃m, 17 dasmayam̃, nañk‛, gwal̃t‛, 35 gayaũ, gāĩ.
  19. ^ Sapir 1912:15.
  20. ^ Golla, Victor. California Indian Languages. Berkeley: U of California, 2011. 132-33. Print
  21. ^ Sapir, Edward, Victor Golla, and Edward Sapir. Takelma Texts and Grammar. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, 1990. 110. Print
  22. ^ Aissen, Judith. Differential Coding, Partial Blocking, and Bidirectional OT. UC Santa Cruz, n.d. Web. 5 May 2015.
  23. ^ Sapir 1912:264ff.

Cited works and further reading edit

  • Achen, Paris (Jan 11, 2008). "Pair breathe life into dead language". Mail Tribune. Retrieved 22 April 2012. [dead link]
  • Kendall, D. (1982). "Some notes toward using Takelma data in historical and comparative work". Occasional papers on Linguistics: Proceedings of the 1981 Hokan Languages Workshop and Penutian Languages Conference. 10: 78–81.
  • Mithun, M. (1999). The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • Mithun, M. (2018). "Language Isolates". In L. Campbell (ed.). Language isolates of North America. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-82105-7.
  • Sapir, Edward (1907). "Notes on the Takelma Indians of Southwestern Oregon". American Anthropologist. 9 (2): 251–275.
  • Sapir, Edward (1909). Takelma Texts. Anthropological Publications of the University Museum. Vol. 2. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.
  • Sapir, Edward (1912). The Takelma Language of Southwestern Oregon. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  • Comparative vocabulary of the languages spoken by the 'Umpqua,' 'Lower Rogue River' [Takelma] and 'Calapooia' tribes of Indians" (35 pp., original dated May 1859), California Language Archive

External links edit