Reading and Writing the Lakota Language
Lakota Iyapi Un Wowapi Nahan Yawapi
Lakota is one of three languages spoken by the greater Sioux Nation. Based on extensive research and teaching on the Rosebud Reservation, this elementary grammar presents the Sicangu dialect using an orthography developed by Lakota speakers in 1982 and which is now supplanting older systems.
Reading and Writing the Lakota Language emphasizes vocabulary and pronunciation and is thorough in its inclusion of conjugation, syntax, and sentence structure. Albert White Hat Sr. presents Lakota philosophy as it applies to specific grammar lessons. These examples offer new information and an authentic explanation of Lakota spirituality and society. Beyond language instruction, readers will value the book for its cultural insights, humorous stories, and its entertaining tone.
We have reviewed this book and have thoroughly enjoyed it. We've already added a copy to our personal collection. So often, language books are dry, boring, and generally painful to read. Not so with this book! It is very accessible and easy to understand. We highly recommend this book and CD set if you are interested in learning Lakota.
As an example of the humor in this book, a section describes the protocol followed in addressing relatives. Specifically, a son-in-law always avoids eye contact or direct conversation with a mother-in-law. "One time, a wife sent her husband to pick up some pots from her mother's kitchen. The husband, without thinking, walked right into the kitchen where his mother-in-law was by herself. She immediately turned and faced the wall. He stopped short to turn around and leave. As he was leaving, the cat was lying there by the door. He stopped and said, 'Igmu, you must tell Uncisi that I am supposed to pick up some pots for mitawicu.' The cat just looked at him. The mother-in-law said, 'Igmu, when Takos comes to pick up the pots, tell him they are under the kitchen sink.' So the son-in-law picked up the pots, thanking the cat for effectiviely delivering the message."
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226 pp — ©1999