A Grammar of Wendat


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This grammar is the first comprehensive study of the First Nations language Wendat (Huron). Wendat, and its southern dialect Wyandot, is an Iroquoian language originally spoken in Ontario and Quebec. Wendat lost its last fluent speakers in the mid-nineteenth century, but is currently being revitalized. The Wyandot dialect, however, was last spoken in Oklahoma in the 1960s. Due to its dormant status, research is based upon archival records dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including 10 manuscript dictionaries, two Latinate grammars, and ecclesiastical texts. Wyandot narratives and audio recordings supplement lacunae in the record. This grammar explores traditional levels of linguistic structure such as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse, as well as more functional topics.