Linguistic question

Everything about Tamaskan Dogs that does not fit within the other topics in this section.
Post Reply
User avatar
firleymj
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Contact:

Linguistic question

Post by firleymj » Fri May 03, 2013 6:41 pm

Dear all,

I've heard that "Tamaskan" means "mighty wolf" in (and I quote official sources) "Native American language."

Well, there are a lot of them. So far as I can figure out it doesn't appear that it's from any of the Na-Dene family, Navajo, or Hosan-Siouxan (the Lakota family) Near as I can puzzle it out, the root appears to be from an Algonquian language, I'm guessing Shawnee or possibly Pawnee. Out of plain curiosity, can anyone definitively say which language loaned us the word for these wonderful dogs?

Yours in devilish curiosity,

Mark
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

Image
http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

User avatar
darazan
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:54 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Linguistic question

Post by darazan » Sat May 04, 2013 12:52 am

I've been wondering the same thing for a while as well. I just don't know where to start with research on it, but I always thought it was strange to say it as "Native American language" like there was only one. I'm looking forward to seeing what the answer is. :D
-Crystal

User avatar
firleymj
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Contact:

Re: Linguistic question

Post by firleymj » Sat May 04, 2013 3:54 am

OK, here's what I found so far:

Wolf in native American:

Abenaki - monisem
Biloxi - ayiihin
Catawba - tansisurie
Cherokee - wahya
Chipewyan - nunie
Choctaw - nashoba
Cree - mahiikan
Lakota (Sioux) - shunkmanitu
Delaware - teme
Eskimo - amaruq
Hare - bele
Kickapoo - mahweea
Menominee - mahweew
Mesquakie (= Fox) - mahweewa
Mohawk - okwaho
Muskogee (Creek) - yaaha
Navaho - ma'iitso
Ojibwa - ma'iinkan
Osage - shonge
Seneca - t'haayooNnih
Shoshone - toopi
Tlingit - Guch
Tuscarora - thkwariinen


Shawnee and Pawnee are out, but Seneca, (Iroquoian) and Catawban (Algonquian) and Ojibwan (also Algonquian) and Delawarian (also Alognouian) coming up as candidates (I may have got the family right but the branches wrong)

Unhappily, I only know Lakhotan moderately poorly, and the rest only to dip into a few nouns here and there.
:geek:
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

Image
http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

User avatar
darazan
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:54 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Linguistic question

Post by darazan » Sat May 04, 2013 5:19 am

what about the word "mighty"? could that be helpful in narrowing down the language of origin?
-Crystal

weylyn

Re: Linguistic question

Post by weylyn » Sat May 04, 2013 9:04 am

you see it indeed on sites saying it is a north american indian language.
I know it is not cherokee ( although many that carry it as a surname does live in the places that falls under the cherokee tribes)
I do also find the word Tamaska in Sanskrit language ( and than its meaning is not mighty wolf) so I am also kind of curious if someone can tell more.

User avatar
firleymj
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Contact:

Re: Linguistic question

Post by firleymj » Sat May 04, 2013 11:38 am

Lenape (which is also part of the Algonquian family) might be a good candidate

teme = wolf (n)
tënàxën = strong, pulling (adj)

teme tanaxen = "wolf which is strong"

A contracted or elided version would make a plausible start at "tem-axen"
[Please note given the state of orthography the pronunciation would be more like tem-achen and an English rendering is believable but not conclusive]

Somebody has to know but the reverse engineering is kinda fun :ugeek:
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

Image
http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

User avatar
darazan
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:54 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Linguistic question

Post by darazan » Sun May 05, 2013 8:20 pm

I think once this gets figured out for certain, it would be good to include in the breed history. :)

EDIT: Also, from the breed history and other sites, it uses the word "tamaska" (without the N) as meaning "mighty wolf." I don't know if that helps or not, but that's what it shows.

EDIT 2: Saw this on a blog "Tamaska means "Mighty Wolf" it is also the name of the original breed of sledge dogs that were bred from wolves." While I don't know the range of certain Native American tribes, perhaps seeing if there's any correlation to more northern tribal languages could be a good lead.
-Crystal

User avatar
firleymj
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Contact:

Re: Linguistic question

Post by firleymj » Mon May 06, 2013 2:15 am

Excellent questions:

The Algonquian family distribution looked something like on the map below (from Wikipedia)

Apparently some of the Lenape languages used maskaeet as (one who is) mighty, so

teme-maskaeet would literally be "wolf which is mighty or strong"

teme-maskaeet is, I feel, getting very close to the word that represents our breed.

Lenape was more east coast of the modern United States, but the Algonquian language family certainly made it into First Nations areas to the north. From contemporary Virginia to Nova Scotia, the Lenape branch of the family is certainly a candidate. I do so wish someone could address this definitively, but in the absence, we can try guessing ever closer to a truth, if not the truth
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

Image
http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

User avatar
firleymj
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Contact:

Re: Linguistic question

Post by firleymj » Tue May 07, 2013 2:07 pm

OK folks, I checked with Jennie and on another board, got the following reply
I don't actually remember which language it was from, it was just something I stumbled across on the internet and liked the sound of. I've never been able to find the website I got it from again to double check. But Lynn is right, we added the 'n' on the end ourselves as we thought it sounded better.
My reply there:
Thanks for the reply and the honesty. :D

In a strange way, I feel honoured to contribute at least a plausible derivation.

(Teme-maskaeet - wolf which is mighty) at least makes sense in several dialects of Lenape (or Lenapi) , which is part of the Algonquian language family. The specific dialect was probably a northern variant of Munsee, so far as I can puzzle out. Teme is wolf pretty much throughout Algonquian languages. The use of "maskaeet" is documented in the New England area, which suggests a variety of Munsee (northern Lenape) as opposed to the Delawarian (southern) dialect. The Lenape were considered the root of the Algonquian culture, and theirs was one of the oldest languages in the family.

Of course, the problem is that very few speakers of the languages in question exist today, and while writing them down may preserve them, they are endangered languages. The dialects themselves may be extinct, and the act of writing them down may in some ways cause certain corruptions, even with the best of intentions. In some ways, one can expect that anything derived from First Nations languages has had some "rough handling" on the way to publication.

Historically, rendering the terminal syllable of Lenape into English has been problematic, since it's usually unstressed, especially the terminal vowels. For example, a powerful chief, Lappawinsoe (written in the orthography the tribe chose after writing was adopted) was often "translated" into English as Lapawinsa, so for tememaskaeet to come out as tememaska or even tem-maska is well within what one might expect in this context.

One can always usefully blame problems in rendering the orthography, since that's almost certain to be true!
At least our name has a plausible root that we can point to: An Anglicized version of a phrase in a dialect of the Lenape language meaning "mighty wolf" (I think that's a pretty safe claim at this point) :ugeek:

Thanks to all who inspired the quest! :lol:
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

Image
http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

User avatar
darazan
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Tamthusiastic (Newbie)
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:54 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Linguistic question

Post by darazan » Wed May 08, 2013 8:01 pm

That is fascinating! Good work. I think we'd be hard pressed to find a more likely solution.
-Crystal

User avatar
Tiantai
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 2558
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:16 pm
Location: Canada (North York, Ontario)

Re: Linguistic question

Post by Tiantai » Sat May 11, 2013 9:48 pm

I always thought that Tamaska was "might wolf" in Inuit.

Just to note, there are MANY dialects of the Inuit language just as there are different dialects of all other languages and some dialects pronounce things differently

Here's an example from a Yahoo! answer:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 030AAmt5mX

Also, Inuit people are NO LONGER referred to as Eskimo because that old word meant "flesh eater" in every dialect which was deemmed as offensive.
Image

User avatar
Hawthorne
Tamificent (Guru)
Tamificent (Guru)
Posts: 1817
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Pennsylvania | USA
Contact:

Re: Linguistic question

Post by Hawthorne » Wed May 15, 2013 1:44 pm

Hey! Great work Firleymj!
I think I will update my website with this info if you don't mind. Thank you very much for your hard work on this subject. We have all always wondered...as it does seem silly to say "Native American language" so at least we can now say "fairly certain" :D
Thank you!!!!
Tracy Graziano
http://www.hawthornetamaskan.com

bark as if no one can hear you
catch the ball on the fly
lick like there's no end to kissing
sleep on a sofa nearby
jump like the sky is the limit
sit by the fire with friends
stay with the ones who love you
run like the road never ends

User avatar
firleymj
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Contact:

Re: Linguistic question

Post by firleymj » Wed May 15, 2013 1:51 pm

Tracy, thanks, and it just goes to show what almost unlimited computer power can accomplish in the hands of a mere mortal :lol:

Thank you for my wonderful dog!
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

Image
http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

User avatar
firleymj
Tamific (Novice)
Tamific (Novice)
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Contact:

Re: Linguistic question

Post by firleymj » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:07 am

Some further developments:

Turns out that the term "strong" in the Massachusetts dialect of Munsee is properly rendered

Uhwaupauweet

But early "dictionaries" carried radically different orthographies, which often depended on the languages spoken by the Europeans who wrote them down. Thus the word for "rainbow" (which modern dictionaries list as "anuquaun" was rendered manakkoon or even manquaaan. Even the word from which our word "Massachusetts" derives has been spelled as Moswetuset.

If one follows the orthography of Schmick's early word list, Uhwaupauweek or Uwapow'ic would become Muhaupauweek represents "strong", or "effectual". It appears related to "Mauwah" (beautiful). Mahwahpau'eek (mahskap'eet in one colonial dictionary) certainly is a possible interpretation for those outside the First Nations, especially as there were many more living dialects of Algonquin at the time, and early Europeans tended to focus on a minimal rendition of key words, with little attention to grammar, especially the complex declension and agreements of many First Nations languages.

So, "wolf which pulls strong" might have sounded like "Teme-Mahwahpau'eek" or "Teme-Mahskap'eet" Allowing for a habit of very unstressed terminal syllables, Teme-Mahskap isn't too far from a good candidate.

Keep calm and mush on!


Keep Calm and Mush On!
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
The greatest love is a mother's; then a dog's; then a sweetheart's. ~Polish Proverb

The human of Ch.(ARBA) and Ch.(KCUSA) Hawthorne James Watson (call name Kona)

Image
http://www.anthracitetamaskan.com

Post Reply