A Subjunctive Story

My class is closing in on two years of Lenape study, and we’re starting to reach the edges of what’s readily available on the Lenape Talking Dictionary. We’ve been working on subjunctives recently and the two linguistics professors in our class are starting to have to research some of the structures because there’s little documented available. In some cases, by conjugating verbs, we’re recreating parts of the language that have been lost. Some of our class is consulting works like this one from Ives Goddard, a scholar of Algonquian languages.

Here’s another story I wrote to practice subjunctives, this one’s been corrected by our teacher so its probably pretty correct.

Lomewe na awenik tonkhituneyo sikon.Long ago the people lost spring.
Luwan kwene ok the.Winter was long and cold
Xantki chipset tekuwoo teli uhatunen xkwechestet.Finally a stranger told them that a little girl had it.
Wiku ohelemi xkwitahtene kixki na kishux.She lived far away on top of the mountain near the sun.
Na awenik ahi alemuwak shekw luwe hiluses teli an xu.The people were very scared but an old man said that he will go.
Ika totun maxke shakhukwiyan na alemsken.He put on a red coat then he left.
Pemeske tekenink ok maxkamen askaskwe kempakw.He walked to the forest and found a green leaf.
Wetenao kun ok metakhomen.He picked up snow and covered it.
Lokwenewi tolemi kshihele xkwitahteninkIn the evening he began to run to the mountain.
Alapae weneyo xkwechestet ok axukw kexiti. Tahkochu ok wikwihele.Early in the morning he saw a little girl and coughs a little. He is cold and tired.
Luwe, “he, kulamalsi hech.”He says, “hello, how are you?”
Xkwechestet luwe, “Nshielintam wemi aesesak eyok ohelemi.”The little girl said, “I am sad. All the animals went far away.”
Hiluses luwe, “Ntite teli kotatameneyo xeli kempako ok mpi ok kshelante.The old man says, “I think that they want many leaves and water and a warm day.”
Mwilao ne maxke shakhukwiyan mbi ok kempako. “Kulelintam yukwe kexiti hech?”He gave her the red coat, water and leaves. “Are you now a little happier”
“e-e” luwe na kshihelan tekenink wichi kishux ok sikon hate.Yes she said then she ran into the forest with the sun and it was spring.
Hiluses kawi ok lashimu teli kesinThe old man slept and dreamed that he was warm.

Here’s the audio. I still struggle with the words with x and the kw’s, they just aren’t sounds that exist in English. Here’s a link to the proper pronunciation of little girl.

Categories: Lenape