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Grant number like: PD-50017-12

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Miami University (Oxford, OH 45056-1846)
Daryl W. Baldwin (Project Director: December 2011 to October 2015)

Documenting Endangered Languages - Preservation
Preservation and Access

$124,292 (approved)
$120,694 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2012 – 7/31/2015

Dictionary of the Miami-Illinois Language: the Inokaatawaakani Project

the creation of a digital edition of an 18th-century French dictionary of Miami-Illinois, an Algonquian language formerly spoken in the Midwest. The project would involve transcription, annotation, and translation of the original dictionary and the creation of a searchable online resource.

(edited by staff) The Dictionary of the Miami-Illinois Language: the Inokaatawaakani Project will digitize an unpublished early 18th-century Miami-Illinois bilingual (Early French/Miami-Illinois) dictionary, translate it into modern French and English, and make it accessible via a searchable online interface. Access to this historic document will be of interest to linguists, anthropologists, historians, the general public, and language and cultural educators of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Miami-Illinois, an Algonquian language that was spoken in the area of present-day Illinois, Indiana, and western Ohio, has no first-language speakers remaining. The manuscript codex on which the project is based is attributed to Jean-Baptiste Le Boullenger, who probably compiled it in the 1720s, and is now held by the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. The manuscript consists of a French/Miami-Illinois dictionary and devotional texts in Miami-Illinois. The dictionary occupies 185 leaves, and lists approximately 3,000 words in French, followed by equivalents in Miami-Illinois. Devotional materials include prayers and a catechism, explanations of the Ten Commandments and the symbols of the Apostles, translations of readings for the church year from the Gospels, and a translation of the Book of Genesis. The proposed project is part of current revitalization efforts to teach the heritage language to members of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. A 20-year collaboration between the tribe and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, has already created educational materials that are used in tribal community programs, by K-12 public school teachers, tribal and non-tribal student populations at Miami University, and for research supported by the Miami Tribe.