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Reading and Writing the Lakota Language

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Reading and Writing the Lakota Language.pdf | Language: ENGLISH

Based on extensive research and pedagogy on the Rosebud Reservation, this elementary grammar of Lakota, one of the three languages spoken by the Sioux nation, is the first written by a native Lakota speaker. It presents the Sicangu dialect using an orthography developed by Lakota in 1982 and which is now supplanting older systems provided by linguists and missionaries. This new approach represents a powerful act of self-determination for Indian education.

Though Reading and Writing the Lakota Language is thorough in its inclusion of conjugation, syntax, and sentence, it emphasizes vocabulary and pronunciation. Author Albert White Hat Sr. presents Lakota philosophy as it applies to specific grammar lessons. Moreover, he documents the impact of the acculturation process on the language, showing how Lakota evolved as a result of non-Indian influences. The textual example offers new information and interpretation of Lakota society, even to scholars who specialize n Plains cultures. Beyond language instruction, readers will value the book for its cultural insights, humorous stories, and its entertaining tone.

Albert White Hat, Sr. is a professor at Sinte Gleska University.

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Book details

  • PDF | 240 pages
  • University of Utah Press; First Edition edition (February 26, 1999)
  • English
  • 3
  • Politics & Social Sciences

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Review Text

  • By Michael van der Meulen on February 13, 2017

    At the moment it is ok but the book alone is not enough to learn to speak Lakota.Learning to read and write I think that a alphabetical dictionary of the words used as appendix in Lakota -> English and English -> Lakota would serve the book. (Although I would prefer Lakota -> German but that poses another difficulty with regard to English -> German)The word understanding in English i would translate in German into begreifen which stems from grip (greifen). Little children learn by gripping things, putting them into the mouth and so on. But you could translate understand into verstehen which is different from begreifen.

  • By BeaconOfLight on December 6, 2013

    The Lakota language is very difficult, however this author made it as clear and concise as possible. You have to be completely dedicated to learning the language to get anything out of it. I cannot 'write' the language yet but I can speak key words. Also, it helps if you know someone who speaks the language. I have a friend, Alexander Little Eagle, who lives on Pine Ridge Rez and he will speak the language to me in sentences and then ask me what he was saying. I may not know word for word but I do understand what he is expressing. I owe that understanding to this CD.

  • By Edward F. on September 25, 2008

    As wimpy as this sounds, I agree with both the five-star and one-star reviews. As a pronunciation guide and cultural primer, this book rocks. It's clear that the author holds his language in high regard and wants to keep it alive and "pure". This fight for purity (purging words that have become a type of reservation slang) is usually a losing battle - just talk to William Safire or the French Academy. Anyway, the book presents excellent explanations of the meaning of words and the Lakota way of life. What it lacks is completeness and a true under5sanding of language learning. White Hat and some reviewers here seem to think that Lakota is somehow unique and that learning it is different from other languages. Vine Deloria's introduction would have us believe that grammar is the invention of the white man, or some such nonsense. All languages have grammar, and there's precious little grammatical explanation in this book. Often, verbs are presented only in the third person (he, she, it), which means that you have no idea about how to say I X or you X correctly. He never gets to the level of a complete explanation of object pronouns, so I can see IT, but never YOU. I would recommend Buechel's grammar to complement this book. Buechel will never teach you to pronounce correctly, or the cultural significance behind certain words, but he'll give you all the nuts and bolts. This book (with the CD's) is the best guide to actually pronouncing the language correctly. If you're just curious about Lakota, get this book. If you want to learn it, get this book and Buechel's grammar, to get the full picture.EDIT: The Lakota Language Consortium (LLC) materials, especially the New Lakota Dictionary and the Lakota Grammar Handbook, are phenomenal resources fr grammar and vocab.

  • By Gma_B on September 29, 2017

    Highly recommended!

  • By Lemoyen Apostle on December 21, 2014

    The tape was in great shape and played well on my cassette tape player.

  • By Kathleen Peterson on May 2, 2013

    When I received this book I didn't realize the full comprehensive program that went with it. This book not only teaches you about the language but guides you through the history of the tribes and the development of the written language. It is invaluable to me for the the forthought and development of understanding such a beautiful language.

  • By Ken on April 5, 2012

    This is a great product. I became interested in the Lakota culture and thought it would be interesting to learn at least some basics of the language. This is a well written book and the included cassette tapes definitely help with pronounciation. Would recommend for anyone wanting to try to learn this language.

  • By Patty Tolliver on June 7, 2013

    I found this book to be very informative so far. I haven't finished it yet. I am taking it slow to make sure I really understand the topic of each "teaching". I know some of the readers were not happy with the format but I know you can't get everything you need in one book. Together with the cd I am learning far more than I imagined. I plan on continuing with this study after I have completed this book. I won't by any means feel that I have gotten all that I need. I highly recommend this book and cd to anyone who is serious about the Lakota language and culture.


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