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Reading and Writing the Lakota Language: Lakota Iyapi Un Wowapi Nahan Yawapi [Hardcover]

Albert White, Sr. Hat , Albert White Hat , Jael Kampfe
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 1999
Based on extensive research and pedagogy on the Rosebud Reservation, this elementary grammar of Lakota, one of the three languages spoken by the Sioux nation, is the first written by a native Lakota speaker. It presents the Sicangu dialect using an orthography developed by Lakota in 1982 and which is now supplanting older systems provided by linguists and missionaries. This new approach represents a powerful act of self-determination for Indian education. Though "Reading and Writing the Lakota Language" is thorough in its inclusion of conjugation, syntax, and sentence, it emphasizes vocabulary and pronunciation. Author Albert White Hat Sr. presents Lakota philosophy as it applies to specific grammar lessons. Moreover, he documents the impact of the acculturation process on the language, showing how Lakota evolved as a result of non-Indian influences. The textual example offers new information and interpretation of Lakota society, even to scholars who specialize n Plains cultures. Beyond language instruction, readers will value the book for its cultural insights, humorous stories, and its entertaining tone.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press (Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874805716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874805710
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 18.5 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Review

"Every Indian language should have a book like this.""--Journal of Anthropological Research" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Albert White Hat, Sr. is a professor at Sinte Gleska University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was involved in using this text from the very beginning. Mr. White Hat presented a workshop on how to teach Lakota Language, which I attended. He gave each of the Lakota Language Instructors present a copy of this text to use in their classes. If it were not for this text, I would not have stayed in the field of teaching this long (5 years). It is an excellent resource for teaching Lakota Language which I highly recommend. Pilamayaye ksto. (Thank you).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Albert, lila tanyan ecannu welo. 23 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Excellent workbook for Lakota Language teachers.The book has very good cultural information in it. Ata co welo!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning from our Elders 1 Mar 2000
By "pasasa" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
These lessons are the most "user-friendly" that I have seen for home study. The only real drawback that I found was that I had to wait the extra few days for the delivery of the accompanying cassettes, because the cassettes and the text are sold separately. These should be packaged together. Even if you only anticipate learning to read and write Lakota, knowing the sounds unique to the Lakota language are essential to grasping the meaning of the written word. The author tells us, "Lakota must be written based on sound." Make sure you order the cassettes and the book!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three stars for effort 25 Sep 2008
By Edward F. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As wimpy as this sounds, I agree with both the five-star and one-star reviews. As a pronunciation guide and cultural primer, this book rocks. It's clear that the author holds his language in high regard and wants to keep it alive and "pure". This fight for purity (purging words that have become a type of reservation slang) is usually a losing battle - just talk to William Safire or the French Academy. Anyway, the book presents excellent explanations of the meaning of words and the Lakota way of life. What it lacks is completeness and a true under5sanding of language learning. White Hat and some reviewers here seem to think that Lakota is somehow unique and that learning it is different from other languages. Vine Deloria's introduction would have us believe that grammar is the invention of the white man, or some such nonsense. All languages have grammar, and there's precious little grammatical explanation in this book. Often, verbs are presented only in the third person (he, she, it), which means that you have no idea about how to say I X or you X correctly. He never gets to the level of a complete explanation of object pronouns, so I can see IT, but never YOU. I would recommend Buechel's grammar to complement this book. Buechel will never teach you to pronounce correctly, or the cultural significance behind certain words, but he'll give you all the nuts and bolts. This book (with the CD's) is the best guide to actually pronouncing the language correctly. If you're just curious about Lakota, get this book. If you want to learn it, get this book and Buechel's grammar, to get the full picture.
42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An uncommon language lesson 28 Nov 2000
By J. Hale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
From the start, Albert White Hat makes it clear that learning Lakota is more than just a linguistic exercise. As he writes in his introduction: "When we teach a language to a student, we should develop in that student another heart and another mind." And indeed, these are lessons in Lakota culture from the ground up, introducing the Lakota heart and mind through their expression in basic grammatical relations. And from the very beginning, White Hat makes it a compelling journey.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surpasses any other text on Lakota Language! Excellent! 15 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was involved in using this text from the very beginning. Mr. White Hat presented a workshop on how to teach Lakota Language, which I attended. He gave each of the Lakota Language Instructors present a copy of this text to use in their classes. If it were not for this text, I would not have stayed in the field of teaching this long (5 years). It is an excellent resource for teaching Lakota Language which I highly recommend. Pilamayaye ksto. (Thank you).
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not meant for self-study 2 Jun 2008
By D. Rachlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mr. White Hat should be commended for the outstanding job he did combing the inseparable concepts of language and culture. Unfortunately, many of the cultural tidbits were personal anecdotes, which detracted from the flow of language learning. There are hundreds of books on the market he could have studied to format the book in a more approachable manner. The pronunciation of Lakhota phonemes is scattered throughout the chapters, there is no glossary in alphabetical order in the back, the dialogs are barely useful and the list goes on and on. His own orthography is not in Unicode and is overly burdened with diacritical marks. Other books, all be they written for teaching children, such as the Ullrich texts, use a much simpler orthography and attain the same goal of teaching the correct pronunciation. The Ullrich books also use a very useful acute accent on every single word to indicate stress. One of the female voices on the White Hat cd is not a native speaker and her pronunciation is so horrible, I can't believe they used her.
Experienced language learners will be annoyed at the round-about way White Hat describes grammar. He sounds as if he's not really sure of himself and covers with making philosophical remarks.
Despite all I've said, it is of utmost importance that more people learn Native American languages. Lakhota is a real treat for those who are language enthusiasts, people interested in our country's diversity or a Lakhota. Lakhota is no more difficult than many European languages and has many fascinating grammatical concepts and ways of saying things, that will excite the arm-chair linguist. Buy the White Hat textbook, but don't expect to go happily from one lesson to another as one is typically able with, for instance, the British Teach Yourself books.
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