Fox language

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Fox
Meshkwahkihaki
Native to United States, Mexico
Region Central Oklahoma, Northeastern Kansas, Iowa, and Coahuila
Ethnicity Fox, Sauk, and Kickapoo
Native speakers
700  (2000–2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
sac – Fox and Sauk
kic – Kickapoo
Linguist list
qes Mascouten
Glottolog foxx1245[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Fox (known by a variety of different names, including Mesquakie, Meskwaki, Mesquakie-Sauk, Mesquakie-Sauk-Kickapoo, Sac and Fox, and others) is an Algonquian language, spoken by around 1000 Fox, Sauk, and Kickapoo in various locations in the Midwestern United States and in northern Mexico.

Dialects[edit]

There are three distinct dialects: Fox (also called Mesquakie, Meskwaki, and Meshkwahkihaki), Sauk (also called Sac, and Sac and Fox), and Kickapoo (also called Kikapú; considered by some to be a separate but closely related language[3]). If Kickapoo is counted as a separate language rather than a dialect of Fox, then there are only between 200 and 300 speakers of Fox. Extinct Mascouten was most likely another dialect, though it is scarcely attested.

Revitalization[edit]

Most speakers are elderly or middle-aged, making it highly endangered. The tribal school at the Meskwaki Settlement in Iowa incorporates bilingual education for children.[4][5] In 2011, the The Meskwaki Sewing Project was created, to bring mothers and girls together "with elder women in the Meskwaki Senior Center sewing traditional clothing and learning the Meskwaki language."[6]

Prominent scholars doing research on the language include Ives Goddard[7] and Lucy Thomason of the Smithsonian Institution and Amy Dahlstrom of the University of Chicago.

Phonology[edit]

The consonant phonemes of Fox are given in the table below. There are eight vowel phonemes: short /a, e, i, o/ and long /aː, eː, iː, oː/.

Labial Alveolar Postalveolar
or palatal
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Stop plain p t k
preaspirated ʰp ʰt ʰtʃ ʰk
Fricative s ʃ h
Approximant j w

Other than those involving a consonant plus /j/ or /w/, the only possible consonant cluster is ʃk.

Writing systems[edit]

Besides the Latin script, Fox has been written in two indigenous scripts.[8]

"Fox I" is an abugida based on the cursive French alphabet (see Great Lakes Algonquian syllabary). Consonants written by themselves are understood to be syllables containing the vowel /a/. The are l /pa/, t /ta/, s /sa/, d /ša/, tt /ča/, /ya/,[9] w /wa/, m /ma/, n /na/, K /ka/, 8 /kwa/. (What look like a script d for /š/, tt for /č/, and 8 for /kw/ derive from French ch, tch, and q(u).)

Vowels are written by adding dots to the consonant: l. /pe/, /pi/, l.. /po/.

"Fox II" is a consonant–vowel alphabet, though according to Coulmas /p/ is not written (as /a/ is not written in Fox I). Vowels (or /p/ plus a vowel) are written as cross-hatched tally marks, approximately × /a/, II /e/,[10] III /i/,[11] IIII /o/.[12]

Consonants are (approximately) + /t/, C /s/, Q /š/, ı /č/, ñ /v/,[13] ═ /y/, ƧƧ /w/, 田 /m/, # /n/, C′ /k/, ƧC /kw/.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fox and Sauk at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Kickapoo at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Fox". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Moctezuma Zamarrón, José Luis 2011, El sistema fonológico del Kickapoo de Coahuila analizado desde las metodologías distribucional y funcional. México: INALI
  4. ^ Meskwaki Settlement School Website, http://www.meskwaki.bia.edu/
  5. ^ "Meskwaki Education Network Initiative (MENWI)". American Indian Studies Research Institute at Indiana University. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  6. ^ Scandale, Maria (2011-02-21). "Meskwaki Tribe Receives Grant for Sewing and Language Project - ICTMN.com". Indian Country Today Media Network, ICTMN.com. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  7. ^ Nelson, John (2008-07-27). "Talking the talk". WCFCourier.com. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  8. ^ Coulmas
  9. ^ "の" used here for /ya/ is a graphic approximation; it's a small clockwise loop with a long tail.
  10. ^ If the cross-hatching does not show up (perhaps because this line has been copied without formating), this is like a small capital H with the cross-bar sticking out on either side.
  11. ^ Like Chinese 卅 but lower and wider.
  12. ^ Like Chinese 卌, but lower and wider.
  13. ^ Actually, like one script n stacked on another.
  • Voorhis, Paul H. 1974. Introduction to the Kickapoo Language, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Bloomfield, Leonard. 1925. "Notes on the Fox Language." International Journal of American Linguistics 3:219-32.


External links[edit]