Introduction to Narragansett Language by waabu

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									Introduction to the Narragansett Language:
       A Study of Roger Williams’
    A Key into the Language of America
       Moondancer ⊗     Strong Woman
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

O’Brien, Francis Joseph, Jr. (Moondancer)
Jennings, Julianne (Strong Woman)
        Introduction to the Narragansett Language: A Study of Roger Williams' A Key into the
        Language of America, 1643 (First Edition).
           p. cm.
        Includes bibliographical references.
        1. Algonquian Indian Languages (Narragansett). 2. Grammar, Vocabulary, Phonology of
        Narragansett language.
        I. The Massachusett Language Revival Project.
        Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2001116679

                They want to dry the tears that drowned the sun
                   They want laughter to return to their hearts
          They want to go home xo to Mother and Grandmother
           They want to hear their ancestral voices ‘round the fire


                       MAY PEACE BE IN YOUR HEARTS

                         Copyright © 2001 by Moondancer and Strong Woman
Aquidneck Indian Council, Inc., 12 Curry Avenue, Newport, RI 02840-1412, USA. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form
or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written
permission of the Aquidneck Indian Council, Inc. Printed in the United States of America.
Introduction to the Narragansett Language

               Annotated Edition

     Aquidneck Indian Council, Inc.
   A Public Foundation Preserving the Past
             TABLE OF CONTENTS


           A Key into the Language of America
                        Retranslated and Annotated

To the Reader       1

Chapter I.     Of Salutation           4

Chapter II. Of Eating and Entertainment                   12

Chapter III.    Of Sleepe         17

Chapter IV.     Of Their Numbers              19

Chapter V.     Of Relations of Consanguinity, &c.              23

Chapter VI.     Of House, Family, &c                 26

Chapter VII. Of Parts of Body                  36
Chapter VIII.    Of Discourse and News                    39

Chapter IX.     Of Time of Day        43

Chapter X. Of Seasons of the Yeere               45

Chapter XI.     Of Travell      48

Chapter XII. Of the Heavenly Lights                  54

Chapter XIII.    Of the Weather            56

Chapter XIV.     Of   The Winds           58

Chapter XV.     Of Fowle        60

Chapter XVI.     Of the Earth and Fruits Thereof                    63

Chapter XVII. Of Beasts and Cattell                  67

Chapter XVIII.     Of the Sea        71

Chapter XIX. Of Fish and Fishing                74

Chapter XX. Of Their Nakedness and Clothing                         78

Chapter XXI. Of Religion, the Soule &c.                        80

Chapter XXII. Of Their Government and Justice                        87

Chapter XVIII. Of Marriage           91
Chapter XXIV. Concerning their Coyne            94

Chapter XXV. Of Buying & Selling         98

Chapter XXVI. Of Debts and Trusting            103

Chapter XXVII. Of Their Hunting, &c            195

Chapter XXVIII. Of their Gaming, &c.           198

Chapter XXIX. Of Their Warre, &c         110

Chapter XXX. Of Their Paintings         117

Chapter XXXI. Of their Sicknesse        116

Chapter XXXII. Of Death and Buriall,          &c.    120

    GRAMMAR TABLE       122
    About the Authors

                          ⊗            ⊗            ⊗             ⊗
   Introduction to the Narragansett Language: A Study of Roger Williams' A Key into the
Language of America, 1643 is a companion volume to Indian Grammar Dictionary for N-
Dialect: A Study of A Key into the Language of America by Roger Williams 1643. Together
these volumes comprise a modern summary of the Narragansett language. Our goals are
threefold: (1) to provide a modern re-translation of the Narragansett language recorded by Roger
Williams in 1643 in A Key into the Language of America, (2) to provide a text in dialogue
structure which the reader, with concentrated effort, can acquire a fair amount of knowledge, at
the elementary level, of an extinct language, (3) to provide teachers with a useful text to teach
this language.
   The reader is assisted in two major ways. First, the Indian Grammar Dictionary provides an
index to the present text (based on the 1936 5th edition) as well as a compact summary of
grammatical information. Second, the text is supported by almost 1,000 footnotes which guides
the reader through the text with special emphasis on understanding the verb structure in reference
to a well-structured Grammar Table summarizing the main verb classes in Roger Williams'
elementary book.
   Thus, by diligent study, the reader may gain proficiency in understanding this fascinating
language, and gain insight into the First Americans of Rhode Island.
  The editors have used this work to produce elementary dialogue for a television documentary
"Mystic Voices: the Story of the Pequot War" (http://ourworld- Also, we have produced an audiocassette tape of songs
Nókas-I Come from Her, sung by Strong Woman, in this dialect and other regional tongues.
Introductory Language Lessons have been conducted at the Rhode Island Indian Council with
some measure of success. Moondancer thanks Darrell Waldron, Executive Director and Charlie
Harold, Board Chairman, and the Staff at the Council for their support.


Moondancer ⊗ Strong Woman
Monday, February 26, 2001
Newport, Rhode Island
             A Key into the Language of America
[facsimiles of Title Page & pp. 7, 10; Courtesy, University of Pennsylvania]


A Brief Pronunciation Guide for
    Narragansett Language

                 PRONUNCIATION GUIDE for A Key

             SPELLING                APPROXIMATE SOUND
             (Roger Williams)                   (some are uncertain)

a                                    • uh in sofa
                                     • ou in bought
                                     • ah in father
ah                                   • ah in father
                                     • ou in bought
an, aum, aun                         • nasal sound
au                                   • ou in bought
                                     • au in caught
                                     • ah in father
aw                                   • ou in bought
                                     • aw in raw
                                     • ah in father
b                                    • b in big
                                     • p in pig
c, cc                                • k in cow, account
                                     • kw in queen
ca, co, cu                           • k in call, cold, cut
cau                                  • cow
                                     • caw
ce, ci                               • s-sound in cede, civil, acid
                                     • z- or sh-sound as in sacrifice, ocean
ch                                   • ch in chair
ck                                   • k in cow
                                     • ch in child
                                     • kw in queen
ckq [before w]                       • k in cow
                                     • kw in queen
d, dd                                • d in din, muddy
                                     • t in tin, putty

                                       ′    `     ^                            ii
ddt, dt                                 • d in din
                                        • t in tin
                                        • tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
                                          sound between ch & t)
e                                       •       e in he
                                        •       e in bed
                                        •       uh in sofa
                                        •       silent [no sound at end of word]
ê                                       • e in he
ea                                      • e in he
                                        • ea in yeah
                                        • ah in father
ee                                      • ee in beet
ei                                      • e in he
                                        • uh in sofa
emes [word ending]                      • ee-mees
ese [word ending]                       • ees
eu                                      • eu in feud
g [before w]                            • k in cow
                                        • kw in queen
                                        • guttural sound like German ach
g, gg, gk [word middle after a vowel]   • k in cow
                                        • kw in queen
                                        • guttural sound like German ach
g, gk [word ending]                     • k in cow
                                        • kw in queen
                                        • guttural sound like German ach
i                                       • uh in sofa
                                        • e in he
                                        • i in hit
ie                                      • e in he
ih                                      • uh in sofa
îi                                      • ee [?]
                                        • ee-uh [?]
                                        • ee-ih [?]

                                            ′      `   ^                           iii
k, kk                                      • k in cow
                                           • kw in queen
                                           • guttural sound like German ach
k [before consonant]                       • kuh in cut
m, mm                                      • m in mud, hammer
n [before consonant]                       • nuh in nut
n, nn [middle, end of word]                • n in tan, tanning
o                                          • uh in sofa
                                           • ah in father
                                           • oo in food
o [after w]                                • ah in father
                                           • ou in bought
                                           • au in caught
oo, ô                                      • oo in food
oa [after w]                               • ah in father
                                           • ou in bought
oh                                         • uh in sofa
                                           • oh in go [?]
om, on                                     • nasal sound
p, pp                                      • b in big, bigger
                                           • p in pig, happy
q [word beginning & before vowel]          • kw in queen
q [before w]                               • k in cow
                                           • kw in queen
                                           • guttural sound like German ach
s [word beginning & after consonant]       • s in sip, racks
s, ss [after vowel ]                       • s in sip [one s sound]
sc                                         • sk in skill
sh [word beginning, word ending & before   • sh in she, push
sh [before consonant]                      • s in sip
shk                                        • sk in skill
shq                                        • sk in skill
sk                                         • sk in skill

                                             ′   `      ^                     iv
skc                                     • sk in skill
                                        • guttural sound like German ach
sp                                      • sp in spell
sq                                      • skw in squid
                                        • guttural sound like German ach
t                                       • d in din
                                        • t in tin
                                        • tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
                                          sound between ch & t)
tt                                      • t in tin, putty
                                        • d in din, muddy
                                        • tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
                                          sound between ch & t)
tch                                     • tch in itch
te [word beginning ]                    • tee-you [fast tempo] (a complex
                                          sound between ch & t))
tea, ttea [after a vowel]               • tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
                                          sound between ch & t)
teau, teu, tteu [word middle or end]    • tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
                                          sound between ch & t)
u                                       • uh in sofa
                                        • ah (short version).
                                        • some think that at the beginning of
                                          some words, a u was a “whistling
                                          sound” (see w)
w, ww                                   • w in won (one w heard) [perhaps a
                                          “whistling sound” in some words
                                          beginning with w]
y                                       • y in yes
z                                       • s in sip

                                          ′   `      ^                          v
Title Page <>A Key into the Language of America, 1643
        NARRAGANSETT                                              ENGLISH                            CHAP.            PG.

                                              To the Reader1

  NOTE: to understand the unique grammar of the Narragansett Algonquian language in A Key, the student should
obtain the companion volume, Indian Grammar Dictionary for N-Dialect: A Study of A Key into the Language of
America, Moondancer ∋ Strong Woman, Newport, RI: Aquidneck Indian Council, © 2000. There the reader will
find much grammatical information on word formation. This dictionary also serves as a page index and will assist
the reader in locating words, roots, stems, and grammatical information. In this manner, the reader can do his or her
own analysis of the grammatical structure of the language.
     Many of the original English translations given by Roger Williams in A Key have been modified to make
interpretation easier or to correct translation errors in light of modern understanding of the Narragansett language.
We tend to write a simple literal "grammatical translation" which we believe simplifies the presentation and
understanding of the grammar for the beginning student.
     The information in parentheses ( ) gives literal translation or expansion on translation. Information enclosed in
quotation marks (" ") means usually a literal translation such as —a red fox ("red animal"). The information in
brackets [ ] is the editors’ editorial comments to interpret further R. Williams' translation or to provide additional
explanation. In footnotes we use bold for grammatical information and italic for Algonquian.
PRONUNCIATION NOTE: Occasionally we suggest pronunciations, which are based on the following simple
conventions: we write "ah" for a in father; "uh" for a in sofa; "oo" for oo in food; "e" for e in bed; "i" or "íh" for i in
hit; "kw" for qu in queen. We also tend to suggest a "g" sound for a letter spelled "k"; a "d" sound for spelled "t", a
"b" sound for a word spelled "p". These changes tend to make reconstructed spoken Narragansett more intelligible
to Indians who still have a related "living" language such as our friends of the Tobique Band of the Maliseets in
N.B., Canada.

       NARRAGANSETT                                            ENGLISH                          CHAP.           PG.
• Nnínnuock    2
                                               • People of our Tribe   5
                                                                                                To the      —
• Ninnimissinnûwock3                           • Indian People not of our tribe6                Reader
• Eniskeetompaûwog4                            • Indians in general
Nanhigganêuck7                                 Narragansetts                                    To the      —
Massachusêuck                                  Massachusett Indians                             To the      —
Cawasumsêuck                                   Cawsumsett Neck Indians8                         To the      —
Cowwesêuck                                     Cowweset Indians                                 To the      —
Quintikóock9                                   Indians of the long river (Connecticut)          To the      —
Qunnipiêuck                                    Quinnipiac Indians                               To the      —

  Original text reads Nínnuock . The ending -ock (or -ag or -uck with a connective "glide" pronounced as "y" or
"w") makes words plural (more than one) for the type of noun referred to as "animate" (creatures that are alive and
move) plus others we can't understand the rule for at this time. The ending -ash is the plural for "inanimate nouns".
See footnote, Ch. IV, pp. 25-26 for more information on Algonquian gender (animate/inanimate)
  Missin = "other nnin (captive people, inferior men)". Double consonants in the middle of a word (like nn in
Nnínnuock, or hh, gg, ss, in other words, etc.) are pronounced like one letter—just as we do in English; for example
the word "supper" is said with one "p" sound. Also, note that in Narragansett, the stress or emphasis in a word falls
where we see any of the three stress marks used by Roger Williams—
• á
• à
• â (and so on for the other vowels—e, i o, u)
  So, for Nnínnuock, we might say "Nuh-NIN-nuh-wahck" with the "i" as in "hit" (the stress is on the second syllable
NIN because that’s where we see the stress mark). Often the cluster uock seems to insert a "w" for speech ("wahck")
(called a "glide").
  Skeétomp ("SKEE-dahb") ="a man", a common Algonquian word used among surviving languages like Maliseet.
Some believe the word, Eniskeetompaûwog, means "original surface-dwelling people" (Iron Thunderhorse, 2000).
Wosketomp is a similar word suggesting a "young warrior) (woskehteau = "harms or destroys" with perhaps root
 -wask- = "young." The key root is -omp = "free, unbound".
  “Those like us”; "We are all alike". [nnin = "people, human beings of our tribe"; see Ch. V]
  “Those not like us”.
  Original text has ~ over the e (as do a number of other words). We use the circumflex ^ throughout the book. The
plural ending -êuck ("ee-yuhck") is translated (incorrectly) "the people of". The endings "-ock, -og" for simple
pluralizaton have the same meaning as -êuck. So, Nanhigganêuck ("Nah-hih-gah-NEE-yuhck") has been translated,
"The People Of The Small Point Of Land". Massachusêuck is translated "People of the Great Hills". Cawasumsêuck
means "People of the Sharp Rock". Cowwesêuck means "People Of the Small Pine Place". Qunnipiêuck = "People
of the long-water place" (quinni-auke-pe) or "People of the place where the route changes". Pequtóog is translated
usually "Destroyers". Muhhekanêuck means either "The Wolf People" or, in Prince & Speck, 1903, "People of the
tide river".
     This analysis of a word into its elementary units of root/stems is guided by the principal of polysynthesis (see
the editor's book, Understanding Algonquian Indian Words (New England)). English-language words can be
understood in a similar manner; e.g., the words <telescope, telephone, television, telegraph, telegram, telepathy,
telemetry> all have in common the Greek root tele (far off, at a distance) which goes into these words. The other
roots (-scope, -phone &c) all have their individual meanings which when combined with other roots give us new
words such as <microscope, periscope, Dictaphone, microphone, & c). Our manner of teaching Algonquian is quite
similar to the word-analysis we just presented for English-language words.
  Probably Pokanoket/ Wampanoag of Sowams who occupied lands from Sowansett River to Pawtucket River
within Cawsumsett Neck in Bristol & Warren, RI
  The recent book by Iron Thunderhorse is a good reference for Indian place names in southwestern New England.

       NARRAGANSETT                                           ENGLISH                         CHAP.           PG.
Cawtántowwit & Cautántouwit                    The Great Spirit or The Place of the Great     To the      —
                                               Spirit (in the Southwest)                      Reader
Pequtóog10                                     Pequot Indians                                 To the      —
Mosk & Paukúnnawaw                             A bear11                                       To the      —
Sowaniu                                        Towards southwest12                            To the      —
Muhhekanêuck13                                 Mohegans                                       To the      —
Qunnibtícut14                                  Connecticut River15                            To the
Wequash                                        A man who was a Péqut captain [a Christian     To the      —
                                               Indian and friend of Roger Williams]           Reader
Wétucks                                        A man who wrought great miracles among         To the      —
                                               Native peoples [perhaps a legendary figure.    Reader
                                               His name may mean "cousin" or "kinsman";
                                               see Ch. V, Pg. 29]

   These are ancestors of the Modern Pequots, including groups known as Mashantucket, Paucatuck, Eastern Pequot
Indians, inter alia, in and around Ledyard, Conneticut.
   See Ch. XII, p. 80.
   Where we come from and where the souls of people go when they cross over; a very sacred place from where our
primary foods of beans, squash, and corn come. See chapter on Religion for ideas on two souls of people.
    Adopted and modified from an editorial footnote in A Key into the Language of America. Providence, RI:
Narragansett Club, 1866 Edition, J. R. Trumbull, Editor. The Trumbull edition has many useful comments from
historical sources. We are indebted to Dr. Trumbull for some historical editorial remarks used in the present book.
   Ordinarily no "b" is written (Qunnitícut °—° "Kwih-nih-DIH-kuht").
   "On the long tidal river", home of the Pequots, Mohegans and other tribal groupings.

        NARRAGANSETT                                            ENGLISH                          CHAP.           PG.

                                   Chapter I. Of Salutation
What cheare Nétop16?                             Greeting used by English to Indians             I           2
Nétop                                            Friend, my friend                               I           2
Netompaûog                                       Friends, my friends                             I           2
Neèn, keèn, ewò17                                I, you, he (she)                                I           2
Keèn ka neen                                     You and I                                       I           2
As cowequássin or                                Good morrow (a greeting)                        I           2
As cowequassunnúmmis19
As kuttaaquompsìn ?                              How do you do ? ["still your time?"]            I           2
As npaumpmaûntam                                 I am very well                                  I           2
Taubot paumpmaútaman                             I am glad you are well ["thanks that you are    I           2
Cowaúnckamish22                                  My service to you ["I serve you"]               I           2
Sachim                                           Sachem, Indian village leader, “Prince”         I           2
                                                 [Indian “chief”]
•    Cowaúnckamish &24                           • I pray your favor ["I greet you"]             I           2
•    Cuckquénamish25                             • I pray your favor ["I salute you"]

    Nétop ("NEE-dahb") = "my friend"; kétop = "your friend"; wétop = "his friend". Root is -(t)op-;recall earlier
footnote on -omp-. The reader may know that later, in Colonial times, the word netop became the racially
derogatory, degrading, insulting "n word" by which Indians were routinely addressed by Whites. Nowadays, of
course, such practices are considered unlawful in this day and age when it is legal to be Indian; see the book by Joey
L. Dillard (1972). Black English: Its History in the United States. NY: Random House. Today, among native
peoples nétop is used in its original meaning, "my friend," "friend".
    When a comma is used, the English translation is given in the same order (Neèn = "I," keèn = "you," ewò = "he,
she."); ewò is often used for "him".
     The English word or means that either expression given is used in this situation. Notice that verbs relating to
"your" or "we" (inclusive form) begin with either a c or k, but we use only the k form in the Grammar Table.
    The ending -mis may be the question form; perhaps meaning "Is your light (spirit) still shining?" It may also
indicate the Passive Voice (see the Ind. Gram. Dict.). In Pequot (co)wequassin, translated "good morning," seems
to mean "may you live happily" (from week = "sweet"). So, As cowequássin may mean "may you continue to live
happily ('sweetly')"
     We have separated As from the verb paumpmaûntam (and word above) to highlight the grammar. See Ch. II, pg.
10, "Have you eaten yet?" & Ch. III, pg. 18, "Are you asleep yet?" and also Ch. XI, pg. 72. Also see Aspeyau (Ch.
VI, pg. 34). As may be related to the word asq ("yet, not yet, still, before that"). Thus, As npaumpmaûntam may
mean, "I live yet," "I am still on my journey," "Still I journey".
     This is a Subjunctive verb (Type I) of the form ***aman. (Study the Grammar Table to understand why).
Hagenau uses "Mood" in his morphological classification whereas we use the synonymous "mode" to refer to the
basic four verb classes—Infinitive, Indicative, Imperative, Subjunctive—with or without specified subject-object
    Type C Objective-Indicative verb (I-you (sg.)).
    In historic times, Europeans recorded the word "Sagamore". They thought a Sagamore was lesser in rank than a
Sachem, but in fact they may have simply misunderstood the language. The Algonquian word sagimau means "He
is the Sachem". It is this word the Europeans may have heard and mistakenly misinterpreted.
    The ampersand & means the words are said both ways with the same meanings (according to R. Williams). We
use &c to mean "etc."

          NARRAGANSETT                                          ENGLISH                         CHAP.            PG.
Cowaúnkamuck                                    He salutes you                                   I           2
As paumpmaûntam                                 How is the Sachim ?                              I           2
Sachim ?
As paumpmáuntam                                 How is your wife ?                               I           3
commíttammus27 ?
As paumpmaûntamwock                             How are your children ?                          I           3
cummuckiaûg28 ?
Konkeeteâug                                     They are well                                    I           3
Taubotne29 paumpmauthéttit                      I am glad they are well                          I           3
       30                                                                      31
Túnna Cowaûm ? or                               Whence come you ? [singular]
Tuckôteshana ?                                                                                   I           3
Yò nowaûm                                       I came that way ["There I came"]                 I           3
Náwwatuck nôteshem32                            I came from afar                                 I           3
Mattaâsu nóteshem                               I came from hard by (near here)                  I           3
Wêtu                                            House, wigwam                                    I           3
Wetuômuck34 nóteshem                            I came from the house (wigwam)                   I           3
Acâwmuck notéshem                               I came over the water                            I           3

   These two verbs show the Objective-Indicative Mode (study the Grammar Table to understand why—get in the
habit of consulting the Grammar Table to see the pattern whenever verbs are discussed in the footnotes or main body
of the text).
   Objective-Indicative Mode (of form k'***uck, He-you (sg.)). In many places "he" could be read "he or she". If
we fail to add "she" or "her" the reader should assume we meant to include it.
   Not the question form, commíttammus is the whole word for "your wife.
   Example of a possessive noun declined (my boy, your boy, his, her boy, our boy, &c) with the structure:
possessive pronoun + noun + plural. Mucki is "child" (usually a boy) and -aug is plural for animate nouns. The
prefix cum- makes it "your " children. Thus, in morphological form, k' + mucki + aug. "My children" starts with an
n to give, nummuckiaûg (n' + mucki + aug). "His, her children, their children" drops the prefix—muckiaûg ( mucki
+ aug). Many relations are given in the editor's book, A Massachusett Language Book, Vol. 1, Aquidneck Indian
   In Pequot, pronounced TAH-buht-nee; literally, "thanks for that" (nee="that").
   It seems that "how, what, where" is given as <ta, taa, tac tou, tuc, tuck>; and "whence, whither, where" is given
as <tunna, tunnock>.
   "You" is ambiguous in this line just as it is in English. Is it singular or plural? We translate "you" as singular
because we know from the verb-rules of grammar that Cowaûm is Type I verb (You, singular) as shown in the
Grammar Table. In general, to distinguish "you (singular)" from "you (plural)", the reader should consult the
Grammar Table.
   Nôteshem seems to be a present-tense verb, which is used here as a past-tense verb. (In other dialects some verbs
are used as the same for present and past tense.) More often Williams uses mesh to make past tense verbs from
present-tense ones (see Ch. I, pg. 8; "I came by boat"). Although the past tense has its own verbs in other dialects,
Williams seems to have not used them very much (see footnote, Ch. VI, p. 35). This may be unique to Narragansett
or the depth of Williams’ knowledge of the language, or his decision to present only the bare rudiments of the
grammar for the beginning English learner, who was not going to try very hard to master this very complex
language. Rest assured, Algonquian grammar is far, far, far more involved than this example in A Key. (See
Pentland article which is on Internet).
   Some believe wetu is a verb ("he is at home," "he houses"). The words Natick weekuwout or weekuwomut ("in
their house") are the basis for the word "wigwam". In 1907, Prince said the last speakers of the Cape Cod
Wampanoag Mashpee dialect remembered the old word wigiwam for Indian wigwam.
   The endings -uck, -ick, -it all mean "at, from, of" (location words) when attached to nouns (See Ch. I, pg. 3:
 "I came from the village"). The ending -uck is also used with Objective-Indicative verbs; see above ("He salutes
you") and Ch. I, pg. 8 ("He loves you").

           NARRAGANSETT                                         ENGLISH                         CHAP.            PG.
Otàn                                            A village                                        I           3
Otânick notéshem                                I came from the village                          I           3
Acawmenóakit                                    Land on the other side (of the bay, river,       I           4
                                                lake, ocean, etc.)

Tunnock kuttòme36 ?                             Whither go you ?37                               I           4
Wékick nittóme                                  I go to his, her wetu                            I           4
Nékick nittóme                                  I go to my wetu                                  I           4
Kékick nittóme                                  I go to your wetu                                I           4
Tuckowêkin ?                                    Where dwell you ?                                I           4
Tuckuttîin ?                                    Where keep (live) you ?                          I           4
Mat nowetuómeno39                               I have no wetu [not—I have none, a wetu]         I           4
Tou wuttîin ?                                   Where lives he ?                                 I           4
Awânick ûchick ?                                Who are these (people)?                          I           4
Awaùn ewò ?41                                   Who is that ?                                    I           4
Túnna úmwock ? or                               Whence come they ?                               I           4
Tunna wutshaûock42 ?
Yo43 nowêkin                                    I dwell here                                     I           4
Yo ntîin                                        I live here                                      I           4
Eîu ? or Nnîu ?                                 Is it so ?                                       I           5
Nùx                                             Yes                                              I           5

   "ah-DAHN". Keihtotan = "a great, large village" (in Natick dialect, northeast of Narragansett Country); the root
keih-, keiht- = "great" (cf. "Great Spirit"). "Villages" is otànnash; "small village" is otanèmes; otanemèsash =
"small villages" (the accents are conjectural).
   Read this as one word, Tunnockuttòme. Say last part as either "kuh-DOOM" or "kuh-DAHM".
   See page 70.
   Perhaps said "tuh-kuh-TEE-in" or "tuh-kuh-TEEN"
   The original text reads Matnowetuómeno. We separated mat to highlight the grammar. Mat means "no", "not".
Also, matta means the same, but seems to be used to further indicate displeasure, unhappiness, annoyance,
unpleasantness. See Ch. VI, pg. 38 ("I knew nothing"). The word machage (or mateàg & other spellings) means
"never," "not, "nothing," & "not at all." Wetuo is common for wetu combined with other elements; e.g.,
wetuomanit="The wetu Spirit". Note that the prefix no- & suffix -meno signify "none of". See Ind. Gram. Dict..
And see p. 10, "Have you no water?" We have taken liberty to make these changes throughout the text to emphasize
understanding the grammar. An audio-tape will someday accompany this book to teach reconstructed
   Plural for "who". Ûchick seems to mean "these men" (yeug in Natick). The next line gives the singular form for
   The pronoun ewò ("he, she") usually said after the verb or noun. The pronouns neèn ("I") and keèn ("you")
usually said before the verb or noun. See Ch. I, pg. 7, Keén nétop = "Is it you friend?" Sometimes the pronouns are
added just for emphasis or clarification.
   The verb esh (come, go) is embedded here. The word breaks down to: W' + (t)esh + auock. The t is inserted
because the stem esh begins with a vowel. (see Appendix, Ind. Gram. Dict., "accommodating t"). This verb is Type
III Indicative. Maybe the word is mispelled (e left out).
   Yo means "here, there, hence, thence". It is spelled in different ways throughout the book. In the closely related
Natick dialect (Wampanoag) it seems to be said "you".
   Appears close to Pequot, "yes" = nawih (Prince & Speck, 1904); cf. p. 57 ("It is true").

        NARRAGANSETT                                               ENGLISH                         CHAP.            PG.
Mat nippomitámmen                                 I have heard nothing                              I           5
Wèsuonck                                          A name                                            I           5
Tocketussawêitch ?                                What is your name ? [How are you called?]         I           5
Taantússawese ?49                                 Do you ask me my name ?                           I           5
                                                  ["How am I called ?"]
Ntússawese50                                      I am called ______ [My name is_____].             I           5
Mat nowesuónckane                                 I have no name                                    I           5
Nowánnehick nowésuonck                            I have forgot my name                             I           5
Tahéna ?                                          What is his name ? [[How is it called?]           I           6
Tahossowêtam ?                                    What is the name of it ?                          I           6
Tahéttamen ?                                      What do you call this ?                           I           6
Teáqua ?                                          What is this ?                                    I           6
Yò néepoush !                                     You—stay or stand there!                          I           6
Máttapsh !                                        You—sit down !                                    I           6
Noónshem or Nonânum                               I cannot or I am unable                           I           6
Tawhitch kuppeeyaúmen 53?                         What come you for (why have you come) ?           I           6

   In speech, we hear "Ah-h" or a nasal sound, "ôu"; Mayhew (1722) talks about "nukkies" as "yes".
   Indicative Mode, "I hear nothing (of this)".
   Nouns ending in -onk, -onck are "abstract nouns" (indicating a collection or classification, state of being or
action or abstract ideas <justice, love, truth, strength, &c>).
   -itch suffix is confusing, appearing to be Subjunctive verb for nondirect inquiry. For Tocketussawêitch, the verb
is underlined (ketussawêitch). When we add the "what" (pronounced tah or taa) to the verb, it sounds in speech
like—tocketussawêitch. Williams often blends the verb with other words, we assume, because that’s how it sounded
to him. But, to understand the grammar, we must be able to pick out the verb. See the next entry, Taantússawese
where we have underlined the verb (ntússawese = "my name is ___"). Taa means "what" as mentioned earlier. The
next entry teaches us that ntússawese means "I am called ___ " ("My name is ___").
   This verb is considered "unclassifiable" in Ind. Gram. Dict. The Grammar Table does not include its forms. Not
enough examples were given by Williams of this verb type to make analysis possible. See Chap. VII. p. 52 for the
forms for Indicative Mode.
   In the verb ntússawese, the final e is probably silent because similar dialects don’t have an e for this type of word.
Why Williams wrote words with letters not pronounced, we can only guess at, but in English a number of words
have final e not said (drove, home, gone, etc.). So, ntússawese may be said as "nuh-DUH-sah-wees". A silent e
also occurs on other words that end in -ese & -emes such as nipèwese ("a little water"). Words like wuttòne (said
"wuh-DOON") have silent e. But other words (usually adjectives and other modifiers) do say final e such as wâme
("WAH-mee") & aquie ("ah-KWEE"). We think many (most?) words do not say the final e, except for adjectives,
adverbs and one Objective-Indicative verb. This problem of "silent e" is one of the issues challenging us in the
recovery of the language.
   Ta means "what" in this and the next two lines. The verb follows upon ta. Perhaps Passive Voice, Type II
("How is he called"?)
   We use this format to distinguish the different types of commands. "You—" refers to a single person.
"You (plural)—" refers to more than one person. We use the exclamation mark! for commands or imperative
pleadings even when the original text omits it (see Grammar Table for the different forms; the form You (sg.)
[ending in -sh] is the most common one used by Williams, and thematic throughout the Algonquian languages,
Trumbull, 1876). This verb and next show Imperative Mode.
   The word for "why" is spelled about 6 different ways throughout A Key, according to Aubin (1972). Here it is
spelled Tawhitch; on page 8, he spells it Tawhitche (with an extra e; the "e" at the end may be evidence that he does
use a silent e at word-end).

        NARRAGANSETT                                             ENGLISH                              CHAP.          PG.
Téaqua kunnaúntamen ?                             What do you fetch (what are you looking for)        I         6
Chenock cuppeeyâumis54?                           When came you (when did you come) ?                 I         6
Maìsh or                                          Just or                                             I         6
kittummâyi                                        Even now (just now)
Kittummâyi nippeéam55                             I came just now [I have appeared, become            I         6
                                                  present, just now]
Yò commíttamus ?56                                Is this your wife ?                                 I         6
Yo cuppáppoos ?                                   Is this your child (papoose) ?                      I         6
Yò cummúckquachucks ?                             Is this your son ?                                  I         6
Yò cuttaûnis ?                                    Is this your daughter ?                             I         6
Wunnêtu                                           It is a fine child [It is becoming, turning into,   I         6
                                                  a fine, good, beautiful chi
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