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Update 2019Edit

I stopped using this account eight years ago. I had kind of hoped that Choctaw would have been much more developed on Wiktionary since then. At the time, I didn't understand Choctaw well enough to contribute much more than adding lemmas I could find from various sources. The Byington/Swanton dictionary is out of copyright and free on Google Books. Its idiosyncratic transcription of Choctaw as well as its archaic and obsolete vocabulary make it a challenging source.

Orthography is one of the most intimidating and confounding aspects of incorporating Choctaw. Native American linguistics in general is extremely bogged down by everyone feeling the need to create their own writing system. You wouldn't begin a grammar of French by inventing your own French orthography. Why do you feel the need to do it with Choctaw? Yes, the spelling systems are defective and ambiguous. But so is English and most other languages.

I'm starting to realize that final apostrophes, final h's and double vowels are strictly restricted to academic writing. (Not to mention superscript n and dot under a.) As far as I can tell, there really are two Choctaw orthographies. One is traditional which is fairly standardized. The other is modern which consistently indicates geminate consonants and replaces vowels e, u, v with i, o, a with long vowels indicated with an acute or a macron.

My ideal would have all lemmas under the modern orthography, with vowel length and pitch indicated in the headword just like nasalization, kind of like how Latin entries don't include macrons in the lemmas.

AS I keep adding Choctaw entries, I'm figuring new and better ways to incorporate and present Choctaw. My goal is to be comprehensive and informative.

Broadwell criticizes the editors of the Byington dictionary for something he did himself:
This yields an unfortunate situation in which this, the largest dictionary of Choctaw, is written in an orthography which does not match any of the orthographies in general use.

Choctaw headwordsEdit

Inalienable nouns mostly use class II possessive prefixes, but they also use class III prefixes. For some reason, references treat the class III inalienable nouns as either first-person (anki "my father") or as non-lexical morphemes (-ki "father"). There is no justification for this distinction. The lemma form of ishki isn't sashki or -shki.

Orthography tableEdit

I made a table comparing the various Choctaw orthography standards:

Moved to Appendix:Choctaw orthography


Proto-MuscogeanEdit

IPA
reconstructed
Choctaw-Chickasaw Koasati-Alabama Mikasuki-Hitchiti Creek-Seminole
/b/ Example Example Example Example
// chi- chi- chi- chi-
/ts/ sa-, nusi cha-, nuci cha- cha-, nucita
/f/ Example Example Example Example
/h/ Example Example Example Example
/k/ Example Example Example Example
/kʷ/ bihi bihicuba Example ki
/l/ Example Example Example Example
/ɬ/ Example Example Example Example
/n̥/ nani ɬaɬo lhaalhi rvro
/m/ Example Example Example Example
/n/ Example Example Example Example
/p/ Example Example Example Example
/s/ Example Example Example Example
/t/ Example Example Example Example
/w/ Example Example Example Example
/j/ Example Example Example Example
Vowels
/a/ Example Example Example Example
/o/ Example Example Example Example
/i/ Example Example Example Example
// Example Example Example Example
// Example Example Example Example
// Example Example Example Example
/ãː/ Example Example Example Example
/õː/ Example Example Example Example
/ĩː/ Example Example Example Example

Declension (work in progressEdit

There are at least three distinct paradigms: final consonant, final vowel with glottal stop, final vowel with glottal fricative. Hattak, ofi and koni are representatives of each. One challenge is that the determiners can be stacked, as many as three at a time. I'm not sure it's necessary to include them in a declension table.

Final consonant
Case marker with determiners
distal
-ma(k) "that"
proximal
-pa(k) "this"
contrastive
-akoo
focus
-oo
-kia "too, also" pejorative
-akhii
ommitted hattak hattakma hattakpa hattakakoo hattakoo -
nominative hattakat hattakmat hattakpat hattakakoosh hattakoosh - hattakakhiit
accusative hattaka hattakma hattakpa hattakako hattako - hattakakhi
nominative2 hattakato hattakmato hattakpato - - - hattakakhiito
accusative2 hattakano hattakmano hattakpano - - - hattakakhiino
oblique hattakak hattakmak hattakpak hattakakoo hattakoo hattakkia
oblique + -kia "also, too" hattakakkia

Kinship terms (work in progress)Edit

Choctaw kinship terms
of a man of a woman of your mother of your father
brother older -anni
-tikba
-tikba -oshi -ki
younger nakfish nakfi
sister older -tikba
tik
-anni
-tikba
-shki -hokni
younger tik nakfish
niece of your brother oshitik iklanna ibbitik obsolete obsolete
of your sister ibbitik oshitik iklanna obsolete -hokni
nephew of a brother oshi iklanna sabbayyi cousin (obsolete)
of your sister sabayyi oshi iklanna

Conjugation tables (work in progress)Edit

  • Different paradigms: initial vowel, initial s, initial consonant.
  • Verbs have several grades, modes and aspects. There are also particles. These tables could get HUGE.

Active intransitiveEdit

bila ("to thaw")
first-person second-person third-person
singular plural singular plural
present bilalih ībilah ishbilah hashbilah bilah
negative akbíiloh iibíiloh chikbíiloh hachikbíiloh ikbíilloh
imperative akbilah iibilah chikbila hachikbilah ikbilah
interrogative bilaloh ībiloh ishbiloh hashbiloh biloh
Tense
default past distant past embedded nomic -hattok
bilah bilatok bilattōk bilak bila bilahattok
Aspect
n-grade
durative
h-grade hn-grade
iterative
l-grade g-grade
delayed inception
y-grade
delayed inception
bila bihíla bihila bī́la ? bíyyila

Active transitiveEdit

bilachi ("to make thaw")
DIRECT OBJECT
SUBJECT
first-person second-person third-person
singular paucal plural singular plural
first-person singular sa-bilachi-lih pi-bi-lachi-lih hapi-bilachi-lih chi-bilachi-lih hachi-bilachi-lih bilachi-lih
plural ī-sa-bilachih ī-pi-bilachih ī-hapi-bilachih ī-chi-bilachih ī-hachi-bilachih ī-bilachih
second-person singular issabilachih ishpibilachih ishhapibilachih ishchibilachih ishhachibilachih ishbilachih
plural hassabilachih hashpibilachih hashhapibilachih hashchibilachih hashhachibilachih hashbilachih
third-person bilachih

Active transitive affective (class I-class III agreement)Edit

achi ("to say")
Present tense
direct object
subject
first-person second-person third-person
singular paucal plural singular plural
first-person singular am-áchi-lih pim-áchi-lih hapim-áchi-lih chim-áchi-lih hachm-áchi-lih im-áchi-lih
plural il-am-áchih ī-pim-áchih ī-hapim-áchih ī-chim-áchih ī-hachim-áchih il-im-áchih
second-person singular ishamáchih ishpimáchih ishhapimáchih ishchimáchih ishhachimáchih ishimáchih
plural hashamáchih hashpimáchih hashhapimáchih hashchimáchih hashhachimáchih hashimáchih
third-person imáchih
Past tense

Stative transitive (class II-III agreement)Edit

nokowa ("to be angry at")
DIRECT OBJECT
SUBJECT
first-person second-person third-person
singular paucal plural singular plural
first-person singular a-sa-nokowa-h a-pi-nokowa-h a-hapi-nokowa-h a-chi-nokowa-h a-hachi-nokowa-h a-nowkowa-h
paucal pi-sa-nokowah pi-pi-nokowah pi-hapi-nokowah pi-chi-nokowah pi-hachi-nokowah pi-nokowah
plural hapi-sa-nokowah hapi-hapi-nokowah hapi-hapi-nokowah hapi-chi-nokowah hapi-hachi-nokowah hapi-nokowah
second-person singular chisanokowah chi-pi-nokowah chi-hapi-nokowah chi-chi-nokowah chi-hachi-nokowah chi-nokowah
plural hachisanokowah hachi-pi-nokowah hachi-hapi-nokowah hachi-chi-nokowah hachi-hachi-nokowah hachi-nokowah
third-person inokowah

Active ditransitiveEdit

Oh, boy.

pila ("to throw (direct object) to (indirect object)")
SUBJECT
DIRECT OBJECT
INDIRECT OBJECT
first-person second-person third-person
singular paucal plural singular plural
first-person singular first-person singular a-sa-pila-lih a-pi-pila-lih a-hapi-pila-lih a-chi-pila-lih a-hachi-pila-lih a-pila-lih
paucal pi-sa-pilah pi-pi-pilah pi-hapi-pilah pi-chi-pilah pi-hachi-pilah pi-pilah
plural hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
second-person singular hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
plural hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
third-person hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
plural first-person singular a-sa-pila-lih a-pi-pila-lih a-hapi-pila-lih a-chi-pila-lih a-hachi-pila-lih a-pila-lih
paucal pi-sa-pilah pi-pi-pilah pi-hapi-pilah pi-chi-pilah pi-hachi-pilah pi-pilah
plural hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
second-person singular hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
plural hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
third-person hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
second-person singular first-person singular a-sa-pila-lih a-pi-pila-lih a-hapi-pila-lih a-chi-pila-lih a-hachi-pila-lih a-pila-lih
paucal pi-sa-pilah pi-pi-pilah pi-hapi-pilah pi-chi-pilah pi-hachi-pilah pi-pilah
plural hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
second-person singular hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
plural hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
third-person hapi-sa-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-hapi-pilah hapi-chi-pilah hapi-hachi-pilah hapi-pilah
plural first-person singular hashasapilah hashpisapilah hapisapilah hashchisapilah hashhachisapilah hashisapilah
paucal hashapipilah hashpipipilah hashhapipipilah hashchipipilah hashhachipipilah hashipipilah
plural hashahapipilah hashpihapipilah hashhapihapipilah hashchihapipilah hashhachihapipilah hashihapipilah
second-person singular hashachipilah hashpichipilah hashhapichipilah hashchichipilah hashhachichipilah hashichipilah
plural hashahachipilah hashpihachipilah hashhapihachipilah hashchihachipilah hashhachihachipilah hashihachipilah
third-person hashapilah hashpipipilah hashhapipilah hashchipilah hashhachipilah hashipilah


third-person first-person singular asapilah pisapilah hapisapilah chisapilah hachisapilah isapilah
paucal apipilah pipipilah hapipipilah chipipilah hachipipilah ipipilah
plural ahapipilah pihapipilah hapihapipilah chihapipilah hachihapipilah ihapipilah
second-person singular achipilah pichipilah hapichipilah chichipilah hachichipilah ichipilah
plural ahachipilah pihachipilah hapihachipilah chihachipilah hachihachipilah ihachipilah
third-person apilah pipipilah hapipilah chipilah hachipilah ipilah

Stative intransitive (class II subject)Edit

yoppa ("to be happy") declarative past future
first-person singular sa-yoppa sa-yoppatok sa-yoppāchih
paucal pi-yoppah pi-yoppah pi-yoppāchih
plural hapi-yoppah hapi-yoppah hapi-yoppāchih
second-person singular chiyoppah chiyoppah chiyoppāchih
plural hachiyoppah hachiyoppah hachiyoppāchih
third-person yoppah

Stative intransitive affective (class III subject)Edit

declarative past future
first-person singular am-achokmah am-achokmatok am-achokmāchih
paucal pim-achokmah pim-achokmah
plural hapim-achokmah hapim-achokmatok hapim-achokmāchih
second-person singular chim-achokmah chim-achokmatok chim-achokmāchih
plural hachim-achokmah hachim-achokmatok hachim-achokmāchih
third-person im-achokmah im-achokmatok im-achokmāchih