Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W.
Mellon Foundation Dictionary of the Ponca People presents approximately five thousand words and definitions used by Ponca speakers from the late nineteenth century to the present.
Until relatively recently, the Ponca language had been passed down solely as part of an oral tradition in which children learned the language at home by listening to their elders. Almost every family on the southern Ponca reservation in Oklahoma spoke the language fluently until the 1940s, when English began to replace the Ponca language as children entered government boarding schools and were forced to learn English.
In response to demand, Ponca language classes are now being offered to children and adults as people seek to gain knowledge of this important link to tradition and culture. The approximately five thousand words in this volume encompass the main artery of the language heard and spoken by the parents and grandparents of the Ponca Council of Elders.
Additional words are included, such as those related to modern devices and technology.
This dictionary has been compiled at a time when the southern Poncas are initiating a new syntactic structure to the language, as few can speak a full sentence.
This dictionary is not intended to recover a cultural period or practice but rather as a reference to the spoken language of the people.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
- Publication Date: 01/10/2019
- Category: Language: reference & general
- ISBN: 9781496204356
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