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As Long as the Earth Endures

Annotated Miami-Illinois Texts

David J. Costa

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 02/2022
Pages: 666
Subject: Social Science
eBook ISBN: 9781496229915


As Long as the Earth Endures is an annotated collection of almost all of the known Native texts in Miami-Illinois, an Algonquian language of Indiana, Illinois, and Oklahoma. These texts, gathered from native speakers of Myaamia, Peoria, and Wea in the 1890s and the early twentieth century, span several genres, such as culture hero stories, trickster tales, animal stories, personal and historical narratives, how-to stories, and translations of Christian materials. These texts were collected from seven speakers: Frank Beaver, George Finley, Gabriel Godfroy, William Peconga, Thomas Richardville, Elizabeth Valley, and Sarah Wadsworth. Representing thirty years of study, almost all of the stories are published here for the first time. The texts are presented with their original transcriptions along with full, corrected modern transcriptions, translations, and grammatical analyses. Included with the texts are extensive annotation on all aspects of their meaning, pronunciation, and interpretation; a lengthy glossary explaining and analyzing in detail every word; and an introduction placing the texts in their philological, historical, linguistic, and folkloric context, with a discussion of how the stories compare to similar texts from neighboring Great Lakes Algonquian tribes.


David J. Costa is director of the Language Research Office at the Myaamia Center at Miami University. He is the author of The Miami-Illinois Language (Nebraska, 2003) and editor of New Voices for Old Words: Algonquian Oral Literatures (Nebraska, 2015).?


"[These texts are] extremely important both to the Myaamia community and to scholars specializing in Algonquian linguistics. There is nothing like this for the Miami-Illinois language. The organization of this [book] should serve as a model for similar text editions of Native American languages."?Amy Dahlstrom, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Chicago and author of Plains Cree Morphosyntax

"This will make an important contribution to the Miami-Peoria people, to Algonquian studies, to Miami language studies in particular, and to studies of Native American oral traditions. This kind of retranscription and retranslation, in the absence of native speakers to help, is an incredibly difficult and impressive task. Kudos to the heroic efforts of the last speakers, the documenters, and the author here for bringing us what has been preserved."?Andrew Cowell, professor of linguistic anthropology at the University of Colorado and editor of Naming the World: Language and Power among the Northern Arapaho