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Speech Mixture in French Canada, Indian and French

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2021

A. Marshall Elliott*
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD


In Canada, at different periods of her history, we find all those causes existing that produce speech mixture in its various degrees from the union of two wholly divergent idioms, as in the case of the French and Indian, down through forms of language that are more or less closely related according as they belong to the same general stock or are contained, as special varieties, within the domain of a single common type. The conditions, furthermore, of antagonistic racial difference, of incompatible stages of civilisation, of strong variations of traditional culture, of divergence of social customs, of well marked and persistent dialect varieties, give to the problem here a many-sidedness and a kaleidoscopic coloring which are indicative, from the beginning, of its complex nature.

Research Article
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 1887

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1 Also published in the ‘American Journal of Philology,‘ vol. VIII.

2 Quels étalent les Sauvages que rencontra Jacq. Cartier sur les rives du Saint-Laurent, pp. 1, 2-4. Extrait du Cahier de Septembre 1869, des Annales de philasophic chretienne.

3 See “American Journal of Philology,” Vol. VI., pp. 135-150 and Vol. VII., pp. 141-160.

4 Parkman, in owe of his inimitable autstheses, happily characterises the treatment of the Indian by the three chief European nations that acquired poscations in the New World, in the following manner. “Spanish civilisation crusbed the Indian; English civilisation scorned and neglected him. French civilisation embraced and cherished him.”

5 Horatio Hale. The Iroqunis Books of Rites, Introduction pp. 10. Cf. Dr. D. G. Itrinton's Library of Aboriginal American Literature, Number II.

6 Cf. Ferland, Courz d Histoire du Canada, p. 96, and Relation de 1636, quoted by him.

7 Cf. Ferland, ibidem, Note.

8 Library of Aboriginal American Literature, edited by D. G. Briston, M. D., Philadelphia. 1883. N. II., p. 99. Quoted from Relation of 1636, pp. 99. 100.

9 Ibidem, p. 100.

10 Faudes philologiques sur quelques langues sauvages de l'Am rique par N. O. (Jean Andre Cuoq) Ancien Missionaire, Montr al, 1866, p. 35.

11 Cuoq, Quels étalent les sauvages que rencontra Jacques Carrier sur les rives du Salant-Laurest; p. 2.

12 The North American Review, Vol. XLV., (1837) p. 46, Language of the Algunquint, a Review of Gallatia,“ On the Language of North American Indians.”

13 Ferland, Cours d' Histoire du Canada, p. 95. Note.

14 Cf. Heratio Hale, The Iroquois Book of Rites, 113. Dr. Brinton's Library of Aboriginal American Literature, Vol, II.

15 Ferland, Cours d'Histoire du Canada, p. 95.

16 The Horon speech became the Iroqunis tongue, in the from in which it is spoken by the Caniengas, or Mohawks (Horatie Hale, The Irequies Book of Rites, p. 13).

17 Cf. Daniel Wilson, The Horon-Iroquels of Canada, a typical Race of American Aborigines. Proc codings and Traneactions of the Royal Society of Canada for 1884. Section II., p. 54, sq.

18 Histoire du Canada et voyages que les freres mincurs Recollects y ont faicts pour la conversion des infidelles diulses en quatre liures fait et composé par le F. Gabriel Sagard Theodat, Mineur Récollect de la Province de Paris. A Paris 1636, Vol. II., pp. 330-331.

19 Daniel Wilson, Ibidem. pp. 78, 100.

20 Mrs, E. A. Smith, of Jersey City, has undertaken to prepare a series of chrestomathies of the Iroquoia language and has already made much progress. [First annual report of the Burean of Ethnology, 1879-80, by J. W. Powell, Director, p. XXII.]

21 Lactures on the Science of Language, and series, p. 169.

22 Daniel Wilson, l. c., pp. 87-8.

23 Francis Parkman, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century, pp. 432-33.

24 Cf. Webster's English Dictionary, sub voce.

25 Glossaire Franco-Canadian par Oscar Dunn, Quebec, 1880, sub voce.

26 Cf. Cuoq, Études philologiques sur quelques langues seuvages, p. 42. The sign 8—Eng. w. For a curious derivation of this word from a form, see Webster's Dictionary, sub voce. Wilkr-ut is bere suppesed to be an Algonkin locative case, wheress Cuoq gives the true locative -ing (cf. l. c.).

27 I refer to the celebrated Poet and Historian, Mr. Benjamin Sulte, of Ottows, whose numerous works have thrown great light on the early history of La Nouvelle France and to the graceful Poet, Novelist and Writer on language, Mr. Napoleon Legendre, of Quebec, whose polished and chastr diction has won for him the enviable repotation of being one of the best stylists of his country.

28 Cf. Gallatin, Albert, “A synopsis of the Indian Tribes within the Unite States, east of the Rocky Mountains and in the British and Russian Possessions in North America, published in ”Archselogia Americana: Ttransactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society,“ Vol. II., p. 32. Likewise the detalled ”Map of the Indian Tribes of North America about 1600 A. D. along the Atlantic,“ appended to this extentive eseay of 164 pages.

29 Histoire du Canada et Voages que les frères minsurs Recellects y ont falets pour la conversion des infidelles diulsez on quatre liures, fait et composeé par le F. Gabriel Sagard Theodat, Miacur Recodect de la Proviaca de Paris. A Paris 1636.

30 This name, The Tobacco Nation (Nation du Petun) was gives by the French, and probably also by the Algonkins, to one of the Huron tribess, the Tiomontates, note for the excellect tobacco which they raised and sold. Cf. Horatio Hale, l. c., pp. 171, 172, Appendix, Note A.

31 In the list, all the words marked (origin?), with the exception of piregue, are thought by Dr. Brinton to belong to Algonkin roots, either “Cri” or “Old Algonkin,” but as I have not access to Lacombe's ‘Lexique de la langue dbs Cris,’ er so Couq s ‘Lexuque Algonquine.’ I am unable at present to desermine more specifically their particular doalect etymons.

32 Cf. The North American Review, Vol. XLV. (1837), p. 53.

33 Slevers, Gruadrllge der Phomerik, p. 104.

34 Cf. The North American Review, Vol. XLV. (1837), p. 55.

35 Jugement erroa de M. Eraest Renan sur les langues sarvages. Deusi'me, dition, p.18.

36 North American Review, Vol. IX. (1819), p. 117. (Review of Hackwelder's Indian History.)

37 North American Review, XLV., p. 42.

38 Horstio Hale, l. c. p. 172. Appendix, Note A.

39 Am. Quarterly Review, Vol. III. (1828), p. 398 (Review of Zeisberger's Grammer of the Language of the Lanni Lenape, or Delaware Indians).

40 Cf. Notes on the Iroquois; or Contributions to American History, Antiquities and General Ethnology, p. 383.

41 Cf. Cuoq, Jugement erroné de M. Ernett Renan, etc., p. 39.

42 Cf. The North American Review, Vol. XLV. (1837), p 57.

43 Cf. Cuoq, Frudes Philologiques. p. 145.