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Spoken Cree, Level I: ê-ililîmonâniwahk: Level 1 Paperback – 1 Dec 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 572 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Alberta Press (1 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888643470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888643476
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,083,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

C. Douglas Ellis has made Cree the focal point of his studies since 1954. He is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at McGill University, Montreal and currently Adjunct Research Professor in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa. Doug Ellis lives in Ottawa.

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To study a Native American / Canadian language is, I suspect, within the realm of a linguistic specialist or devotee of American / Canadian culture. This textbook is reasonably accessible, I should imagine late high school to undergraduate level.

It equips the student with the basics of the Moose and Swampy dialects of the Cree language, a member of the Central Algonquian family. For those with only Indo-European or Afro-Asiatic linguistics backgrounds, it will be an eye-opener.

A certain amount of linguistic terminology is required (e.g. substantive, (in)transitive, (in)animate) but the writing is not heavily burdened with such. There is a Cree-English glossary, and a bibliography for further reading.

Coverage of present, future and past tenses is provided, as well as the various subjects, including s second form of third person and other delights not found in English.

The writing is of the inductive type, where the student learns as he or she progresses through the book. Very basic paradigms are included in appendix 2. The text is perhaps a little stilted when compared with other language books, but this might actually reflect reality. Rather than the Internet, movies, dating, and driving types of dialogues, there are conversations which include the world of the frontier. Vocabulary for hunting, trapping, canoing and pitching tents features prominently. I think I prefer this, as it hints strongly of the unique culture.

I have given 4 stars as I have a very strong preference for language books to contain a deductive element - loads of tables of verb and noun forms, which this book does not.
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