Tongva language

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Tongva
Gabrielino
Native to Southern California
Region Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island
Extinct

ca. 1900?

(revitalization 2004)
Uto-Aztecan
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xgf
Linguist list
xgf
Glottolog tong1329[1]
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The Tongva language (also known as Gabrielino or Gabrieleño) is a Uto-Aztecan language formerly spoken by the Tongva, a Native American people who live in and around Los Angeles, California. Tongva is closely related to several other Takic languages, including Cahuilla and Serrano.

The last fluent native speakers of Tongva lived in the early 20th century, but no evidence to this time and date can prove a fluent speaker in the last 150 years.[clarification needed] The language is primarily documented in the unpublished field notes of John Peabody Harrington made during that time. The "J.P. Harrington Project", developed by the Smithsonian through UC Davis, his notes of the Tongva language, approximately 6,000 pages were coded for documentation by a Tongva member who took 3 years to accomplish.

There are claims of native speakers of Tongva who have died as late as in the 1970s, but there is no independent verification of these individuals having been fluent speakers.

Evidence of the language also survives in modern toponymy of Southern California, including Pacoima, Tujunga, Topanga, Azusa, Cahuenga in Cahuenga Pass, and Cucamonga in Rancho Cucamonga.

Language revitalization[edit]

As of 2012, members of the contemporary Tongva (Gabrieleño) tribal council are attempting to revive the language, by making use of written vocabularies, by comparison to better attested members of the Takic group to which Tongva belonged,[2] and by offering classes.[3][4] The Gabrielino-Tongva Language Committee has created Tongva grammar lessons and songs, and a Tongva Facebook page "introduces an audio of a new word, phrase or song daily."[5]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

The following is a list of the consonants of the Tongva language.[citation needed] In parenthesis is the spelling of the specific sound. Note that there are multiple orthographies for the Tongva language and certain letters represent more than one sound therefore certain sounds may have multiple ways to be spelled.

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m (m) ɱ (m) n (n) ŋ (ng~n)
Plosive voiceless p (p) t (t) k (k~c~qu) (ʔ)
voiced b (b) d (d) ɡ (g~gu)
Fricative voiceless ɸ (p) f (p~v~f) s (s) ʃ (sh~ch) ç (h~r) x ~ χ (h~g)
voiced β (b) v (v~w) z (z) ʒ (x~sh~ch) ʝ (y~x~j) ɣ (x~h) ʁ (r) ɦ (h)
Trill r (r)
Approximant ʋ-ʍ (w) l (l) j (y~j)

Morphology[edit]

Tongva is an agglutinative language, where words use suffixes and multiple morphemes for a variety of purposes.

Vocabulary[edit]

The Lord's Prayer[6][edit]

The Lord's Prayer is called 'Eyoonak in Tongva. The following text was derived from old Mission records.

'Eyoonak

'Eyoonak, 'eyooken tokuupanga'e xaa;
hoyuuykoy motwaanyan;
moxariin mokiimen tokuupra;
maay mo'wiishme meyii 'ooxor 'eyaa tokuupar.

Hamaare, 'eyoone' maxaare' 'wee taamet,
koy 'oovonre' 'eyoomamaayntar momoohaysh, miyii 'eyaare
'oovonax 'eyoohiino 'eyooyha';
koy xaare' maayn 'iitam momoohaysh,
koy xaa mohuu'esh.
'Wee menee' xaa'e.


Collected by C. Hart Merriam (1903)[7][edit]

(Merriam refers to them as the Tongvā)

Numbers
  1. Po-koo
  2. Wěh-hā
  3. Pah-hā
  4. Wah-chah
  5. Mah-har
  6. Pah-vah-hā
  7. Wah-chah-kav-e-ah
  8. Wa-ha's-wah-chah
  9. Mah-ha'hr-kav-e-ah
  10. Wa-hās-mah-hah'r
  11. Wa-hā's-mah-hah'r-koi-po-koo
  12. Wa-hā's-mah-hah'r-koi-wěh-hā
grizzly bear
hoó-nahr
hoon-nah (subject)
hoon-rah (object)
black bear
pí-yah-hó-naht

Collected by Alexander Taylor (1860)[7][edit]

Numbers
  1. po-koo
  2. wa-hay
  3. pa-hey
  4. wat-sa
  5. mahar
  6. pawahe
  7. wat-sa-kabiya
  8. wa-hish-watchsa
  9. mahar-cabearka
  10. wa-hish-mar

Taylor claims "they do not count farther than ten"

Collected by Dr. Oscar Loew (1875)[7][edit]

Numbers
  1. pu-gu'
  2. ve-he'
  3. pa'-hi
  4. va-tcha'
  5. maha'r
  6. pa-va'he
  7. vatcha'-kabya'
  8. vehesh-vatcha'
  9. mahar-kabya'
  10. vehes-mahar
  11. puku-hurura
  12. vehe-hurura
bear
unar

Collected by Charles Wilkes, USN (1838-1842)[7][edit]

Numbers
  1. pukū
  2. wehē
  3. pāhe
  4. watsā
bear
hundr

Other sources[edit]

  • desert fox: erow[8]
  • Pacoima = from the root word Pako enter, meaning the entrance[citation needed]
  • Tujunga = from the root word old woman tux'uu[citation needed]
  • Azusa = from the word -shuuk 'Ashuuksanga = his grandmother[citation needed]

Toponymy[edit]

The table below gives the names of various missions in the Tongva language.[6]

English Tongva
Los Angeles Yaa
San Bernardino Wa'aach
San Gabriel Shevaa
San Pedro Chaaw
Santa Ana Hotuuk
Santa Monica Kecheek
Santa Catalina Pemu

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Tongva". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ The Limu Project (active language revitalization)
  3. ^ Keepers of Indigenous Ways: Tongva Language History & classes
  4. ^ R. Plesset (2012-06-01). "San Pedro: Science Center Endangered/Tongva Village Site Revitalization". Indymedia Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  5. ^ Marquez, Letisia (2014-07-01). "Social media used to revive extinct language". Phys.org. Retrieved 2014-07-03. 
  6. ^ a b Munro, Pamela, et al. Yaara' Shiraaw'ax 'Eyooshiraaw'a. Now You're Speaking Our Language: Gabrielino/Tongva/Fernandeño. Lulu.com: 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d McCawley, William. The First Angelinos: The Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles. Malki Museum Press, 1996
  8. ^ Native Languages of the Americas[year needed]

External links[edit]