Series Title: Languages of the World/Materials 27
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Author: Robert Leavitt
Paperback: ISBN: 3895861065 Pages: 60 Price: Europe EURO 37.00
Passamaquoddy-Maliseet is an eastern Algonquian language, with about 500 speakers today in Maine (USA) and New Brunswick (Canada). This sketch outlines the fundamental features of the language. Passamaquoddy-Maliseet has five vowel sounds and twelve consonants, with pitch and stress also distinctive. Words are composed of roots; a typical verb, for example, contains verbal, nominal, adjectival, and adverbial roots, as well as number, tense, and other grammatical markings. The stems and inflections of transitive verbs are differentiated by grammatical gender, animate or inanimate, according to that of the direct object, while intransitive verbs agree in gender with the subject. Other words include nouns, pronouns and uninflected particles. Particular features of the language include the regular syncope of syllables containing unstressed schwa, the use of absentative forms of nouns and verbs, the division of third persons into two grammatical categories to indicate narrative focus, the reanalysis of many participles as nouns, the marking of intransitive verbs for use with direct objects, and speaker-centred construction of space and time.