Download A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed by Peter Bakker PDF

By Peter Bakker

The Michif language -- spoken through descendants of French Canadian fur investors and Cree Indians in western Canada -- is taken into account an "impossible language" because it makes use of French for nouns and Cree for verbs, and includes various units of grammatical ideas. Bakker makes use of ancient study and fieldwork info to offer the 1st specific research of this language and the way it got here into being.

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Additional resources for A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Metis (Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics, 10)

Example text

One has to notice that in Copper Island Aleut only the verbal inflection was affected and not the nouns. No closer comparison is possible here. In short, the verb-noun hypothesis does not seem to make sense for the genesis of Michif. Code-mixing Hypothesis In many bilingual societies people may spontaneously mix the languages spoken. This is called code switching, if switches occur between sentences, or code mixing, if switches occur between words and phrases. In this discussion I use "code mixing" as a general term.

It does not seem so. Even in the most extreme cases of borrowing, the proportion of loanwords is not so enormous as in Michif. Furthermore, loanwords are usually adapted to the sound system of the bor- Introduction 11 rowing language, but in Michif both components preserve their own sound systems. Also, no cases are known of such categorial borrowings (only nouns, only verbs, or something like it) as in Michif. Therefore Michif does not seem to be a case of Cree borrowing into French or French borrowing into Cree.

One has to notice that in Copper Island Aleut only the verbal inflection was affected and not the nouns. No closer comparison is possible here. In short, the verb-noun hypothesis does not seem to make sense for the genesis of Michif. Code-mixing Hypothesis In many bilingual societies people may spontaneously mix the languages spoken. This is called code switching, if switches occur between sentences, or code mixing, if switches occur between words and phrases. In this discussion I use "code mixing" as a general term.

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