In this study of Eastern Ojibwa, the late Leonard Bloomfield, first and greatest of structural linguists, presents his only extended treatment of the Central Algonquin syntax.
A dialect of the Central Algonquin tongue, Ojibwa is spoken by the American Indians in the area of Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan; in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
The texts, transcribed as dictated by an informant and phonetically rendered by Bernard Bloch, include an Indian's childhood memories: Grandmother, The White Man, Falling in the Water, Spring Thunderstorm; as well as Indian Folklore: The Sweating Cure, Fasting, Burial Rites, Love Medicine.
Working with this unique collection of texts, which includes in several instances two or three versions of the same story, Bloomfield solves the two great phonetic difficulties of Ojibwa: distinction of lenis and fortis consonants, and the distinction of long and short vowels.