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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mother Load!

So, while procrastinating harder than usual today, I happened across something very interesting (at least to me). While my grandpa hasn't written much about the Trique language in general (his papers have been more about specific aspects of Trique, especially those relating to his primary field of study - analysis of discourse), I've finally managed to find someone who has. All things considered, it shouldn't be a surprise that my grandpa and she are well acquainted, and have collaborated a great deal in the past; though that's somewhat beside the point.

The bottom line is that she has written a number of articles (scroll down to the On Trique section) and other things about Trique grammar (although hers is Copala Trique - a sibling of Chicahuaxtla Trique, which my grandpa studied and my Trique Bible is in). Most notably, she has written an entire manual on the grammar of Copala, which I'm just starting to read, and a Copala Trique dictionary. A number of her works are available online, including the manual and dictionary themselves.

Unfortunately, almost all of her works available for download are in Spanish. This ended up providing a surprisingly small obstacle for me, however. When I tried to read the grammar manual, I found that I was able to make out the Spanish quite well. Between the Spanish I remember and the fact that much of it is linguistic jargon (making it fairly easy to deduce the meaning of unknown words from context), I've been able to understand almost all of it that I've looked at so far. It would be incredibly ironic if I ended up buying one language and getting a second one free.

So far, I can see a few differences between the two. Copala Trique seems to like to delete some consonants that Chicahuaxtla Trique has, has fewer vowels, and I've heard Chicahuaxtla Trique has the most complex tone system of any Trique language. I also readily noticed some pronouns and number markers don't appear to be related between the two languages. It also seems like Copala Trique has gender-specific third-person pronouns that Chicahuaxtla Trique lacks, although I need to do more study to make sure (I haven't seen any that appear to be gender-specific in this Bible, but I can hardly be considered an expert on the topic).

In other tangentially related news, exactly one week ago somebody by the moniker G.broadwell started to add some limited details about phonology, morphology, and syntax to the Wikipedia article on Trique. As well, this blog is #5 on Google for "Trique", #4 for "Trique grammar". Finally, it appears that the Trique indians now have a web site (Triqui is a well-known alternate spelling), although it's in Spanish; isn't technology awesome?


Allan said...

Hi Justin. I work with the Copala Trique people, but also have some contact with people from Chicahuaxtla and Itunyoso.

George Broadwell is a linguistics professor in Albany, NY who studies Copala Trique. There are several hundred speakers living in that area.

The page has been on-line for several years now.

See for more links. There is a link to where you can hear bilingual Trique-Spanish radio programming over the Internet (though the schedule is in flux at this moment). There are programs in both Copala and Itunyoso Trique. There is also a link to the secion of where you can find extensive resources in Trique. There's also a secions on Copala Triques in the news and photos of some of the places where they now live.

Who is your grandfather? I know Claude Good who worked in Chicahuaxtla for decades.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have new pictures of San Martin Itunyoso? if you have any pictures please send it to my email I am from San Martin Itunyoso and I do speak triqui from Itunyoso. I just need to se some photos of my town since I have not been there for 7 years now. 2oo1-2008