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Grammaire de la langue Mikmaque

Maillard, Pierre

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4637]
Auteur(s)

Maillard, Pierre

Variantes: Maillard (Maillart, Mayard, Mayar), Pierre (sometimes called Pierre-Antoine-Simon)

Datation: ca 1710-1762

Abbé Pierre Maillard (C.S.Sp; Spiritan Order, Congregation du Saint-Esprit), also called “the Apostle of the Micmacs”, was born probably around 1710 near Chartres and the exact date of his birth is unknown. He studied at "Séminaire du Saint-Esprit", in Paris and was selected for the Micmac missions in Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). In 1735, he came to Louisbourg (Louisburg, today Nova Scotia), where he was welcomed by the Recollects. He learned the Micmac language from his predecessor, Abbé de Saint-Vincent. Besides of his grammar edited by Bellenger under the title Grammaire de la langue Mikmaque, he composed a dictionary, prayerbooks, a catechism in Micmac (written in 1759, and completed in 1900 by the Capucin Father Pacifique de Valigny (1863-1943) under the title Sigentatimgeoei (1921) (Burns 1936-1937). For more details about Maillard's writings, see also Pilling (1892, p. 332-334). He died in Halifax, August 12, 1762 (Rogers 1926). Maillard was one of the missionaries who rediscovered and propagated the logographic writing system among the natives (Koren 1982, p. 57; Déléage 2013; Hewson 1994, p. 68-70). The glyphs are in fact logograms, with phonetic elements used alongside, which included logographic, alphabetic and ideographic information. They were derived from a pictograph and petroglyph tradition (Schmidt 1993; Schmidt & Marshall 1995), a writing system developed earlier by the Recollect Chrestien Leclerq (1677-1686). Maillard employed the logographic script for religious purposes at the Cape Breton mission until 1748. Maillard designed a roman based Micmac orthography, but was reluctant to teach it because the use of the Roman alphabet might have fostered anti-French sentiment among the natives (Edwards 2005: 34). In Maillard’s educational programme, there was no place for literacy in the Latin Alphabet among the natives; their knowledge of the Latin alphabet might undermine the messages of the Catholic Church. This linguistic policy is totally different from that of the Protestants, in particular the Methodists, who promoted Western literacy (Edwards 2005, p. 36). After the fall of Louisbourg and the destruction of the Chapel Island mission in July 1758, Maillard was exiled to Miramichi and Malagomich (Mailgomitjg or Merigomish), where he started working for the British authorities. The British asked for his support to pacify the indigenous populations in Halifax in 1760 (Morin 2009). He died in Halifax, August 12, 1762. The Micmac hieroglyphics were still in use after his death.

Adaptateur(s)

Bellenger, Joseph Marie

Datation: 1788-1856

Joseph-Marie Bellenger was a Roman Catholic priest, missionary and journalist, educated at the Petit Séminaire de Québec. He became an ordained priest in 1813 and became curate of Saint-Joachim at Châteauguay and worked later on Montreal Island and at the age of 26 he was sent to Restigouche, on the Baie des Chaleurs where he worked among the Micmacs. Maillard’s Grammaire de la langue mikmaque was prepared in 1817, but printed in 1864 (Lemieux 1985).

Titre de l'ouvrageGrammaire de la langue Mikmaque
Titre traduitGrammar of the Micmac language
Titre courtGrammaire de la langue Mikmaque
Remarques sur le titreThe title of the work edited by Bellenger is Grammaire de la langue Mikmaque. The work is based on notes written by the author. In Hanzeli (1969, Appendix D, p. 126), one anonymous work is listed entitled Rudimens de la langue Mikemak (11 leaves) and two works appear with the name Maillard as author: (1) Traité de la Langue Mikmaque (44 p.) and (2) Cahier de la langue mimac [sic] (155 p.). Bellenger does not give any details on which works he has used in particular. He refers often to “Cahiers” in plural (p. 9, 25). He admits that he has not seen the entire work: (“Je me propose de revenir sur cet article, si je puis mettre la main sur le reste de sa grammaire que je n’ai pas encore pu me procurer….”, p. 93). Sometimes, it seems contradictory that Bellenger states, on the one hand, that all the linguistic material is derived from Maillard’s work (“Tous les préceptes inclus dans ce cahier sont purement de lui, nous avons seulement travaillé à les rédiger dans un ordre suivi et plus methodique”), which is evident in the section on the imperative of the verb, where we find the remark that this form is missing in M. Maillard (“Il manque chez M. Maillard”, p. 38; “Je n’ai pas trouvé aux cahiers de M. Maillard le négatif du verbe”, p. 66), whereas, on the other hand, Bellenger adds new data not mentioned by Maillard (“Maillard ne parle point du passé, je pense que c’est…”; “M. Maillard a oublié de nous donner la conjugaison d’un verbe passif…”). Missionary linguistics was a collective enterprise, and it is not always possible to identify the author. As Hanzeli observes, “each new copying involved… a partial rewriting of the works, the extent of which is no longer possible to determine” (1969, p. 22-23). When the first person is used, as on p. 66: “Je n’ai trouvé aux cahiers de M. Maillard le négatif du verbe”, it is obvious that it refers to Bellenger, but in other cases, as for instance the definition of the inanimate verb (“J’appelle verbes inanimés ceux qui comprennent dans leur idée un régime de choses inanimées”), the first person cannot be identified with certainty.
Période|18e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageManuscripts, linguistic notes. Although we can be certain that he sent the first draft of his grammar to London for publishing in 1766 (Annual Report – Public Archives of Canada: 269, 272), this document is not extant today. Short introduction into the language. Section on phonology and orthography are almost non-existent. Morphology is the most important part, and syntax appears in the second part.
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique
Édition originaleca 1759, Ms. library of the Archbishopric of Quebec. Most manuscripts on the language are preserved in the library of the Archbishopric of Quebec (Hoffman s.d., p. 87). We have not been able to trace the manuscript of this grammar. According to Hanzeli (1969, p. 29), copies of the manuscript of this work may be found at the Nicolet Seminary (MS 7) and in the archdiocesan archives in Quebec, along with other miscellaneous works (“cahiers”) by the same author (MS 8)”.
Édition utilisée1864, Bellenger (reprint 1970)
Volumétrie101 p.; 24 cm. According to Hanzeli (1969, p. 126) the Cahier de la langue mimac [sic] has 155 pages, 7 ¾" X 6", Archives de l’Archevêché de Québec (microfilms available at the Archives of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelpia and the Library of the University of Washington in Seattle). We have not been able to check if these two works are the same.
Nombre de signes80000
Reproduction moderne1970, reprint New York, AMS Press.
Diffusion
Langues ciblesMicmac, Mi’kmag, Mi’kmaq, Mi’kmaw, in French Mikmaque (the apostrophe in Mi’ kmaq does not represent the glottal stop but vowel length). In this article, the spelling “Micmac” is used. (Subfamily Eastern Algonquian – also spelled Algonkian –, Algic family (Mithun 1999, p. 327), the most northerly of the Eastern subfamily. The word is a plural meaning ‘my kin-friends’, or ‘the allies’, (i.e. the allies of the French) (Hewson 1994, p. 66)). As endonyms, Lnuismk, Mikmawísimk or Mikmwei are used.
MétalangueFrench. The religious texts written by Maillard are translated directly from Latin (Déléage 2013, p. 13).
Langue des exemplesMi’kmaq
Sommaire de l'ouvrageAvant-propos (9); notes (10-11); des accents (11); des noms, des genres (11); du nombre (12), du temps (12); des adjectifs (13-14); de la négation (15-16); des pronoms (17-22); noble, ignoble (22); des noms de nombre (22-26); de l’adverbe (26-30); adverbes de quantité, de quantité; d’affirmation, de négation, de doute, d’union, de séparation, pour montrer, de lieu; des prépositions (30-31); de la conjonction (31-32); des interjections (32); jours de la semaine (33).
Du verbe (33-66), [no separate headers for the first and second conjugations] observations sur les tems, eim, je suis (présent, parfait et imparfait, second imparfait, futur, subjonctif, passé conditionnel, impératif), verbe négatif (présent, imparfait, second plus-que-parfait, futur, future passé, impératif, subjonctif présent, imparfait, plus-que-parfait conditionnel, plus-que-parfait absolu, participe présent), verbe négatif (présent, imparfait, parfait, plus-que-parfait, futur, impératif, subjonctif présent, imparfait, plus-que-parfait conditionnel, second imparfait de l’indicatif, participe du présent, infinitive present, futur, plus-que-parfait conditionnel); ygaie ‘je heurte’ (same tenses and moods); troisième conjugaison (same tenses and moods), verbes inanimés, quatrième conjugaison, cinquième conjugaison. verbes impersonnels.
Syntaxe (67) Troisième classe de verbes (les trois règles de l’accord du verbe avec son régime inanimé (67-75); impersonnel on (75-87-89); construction du verbe réciproque mental avec un régime de personnes différentes du nominatif (89-92); verbes passifs (92-93); du verbe régime (94-100); remarque sur le verbe eim, je suis.
Objectif de l'auteurNo explicit didactic goals which can be attributed to Maillard, but Bellenger explicitly exposes the objectives of his work: Bellenger argues that his edited edition is clearer and more “methodical”, compared Maillard’s “cahiers”, which he characterises as follows: “Cependant, pour faciliter l’étude de cette langue, j’ai entrepris de travailler sa grammaire qui manqué de methode et même de clarté par endroits” (Avant-propos, p. 9). In the section on syntax we find the criticism that so many verbal forms are “mixed up” (“tellement mêlés les uns entre les autres qu’il a fallu un travail penible pour reduire en un certain ordre”, p. 80). There is an explanation and an excuse for this unsystematic and unstructured approach, according to Bellenger: (“Ce defaut de méthode est la cause qu’on a beaucoup à desirer dans cet ouvrage qui d’ailleurs est un chef-d’oeuvre pour l’élégance, la netteté, et la pureté de la langage Mikmaque. Il a fallu sans doute à ce respectable missionnaire un travail qu’on peut imaginer, avant que de pouvoir sur le papier des règles fixés d’une langue si peu connue avant lui”, p. 80).
Intérêt généralEarliest extant account of the Micmac language. Maillard’s work formed the basis of all subsequent linguistic analysis of Micmac (Hewson 1994, p. 76). It is significant that the author praises this language, being “Une des langues les plus riches et les plus expressives en verbes” (p.10). The contribution to the study of Micmac phonology and orthography is almost non-existant. The only information given is about the use of two accents (“Deux accents: ég/ èg. Ces accents n’ont point de difficulté, et repondent à l’é fermé et l’è ouvert de la langue Française...”, p. 11), and in another section, the author explains the difference between short and long has to be observed (“Dans cette langue il est nécessaire de faire attention aux brèves et aux longues pour se garantir des équivoques”; p. 39). He gives some examples: ygălchi, je me defends; ygālchi, je me place, je me pose...
Nevertheless, he decides not to use these diacritics systematically in his grammar (“mais générellement dans la grammaire on ne marque pas la distinction”). Phonology is the weakest point in this grammar, according to our modern view. The author also gives the following information regarding typological properties of nouns, verbs and adjectives: all words can become verbs, at least nouns and adjectives: kȣndeau ‘pierre’, kȣdeȣi ‘je suis pierre’, kelȣlk, ‘ beau’ (“tous les mots pour ainsi dire sont susceptibles de devenir verbes, au moins les noms et les adjectifs”, p. 10). Regarding the metalanguage, we find the distinction between “genre noble” and “genre ignoble”, together with the dichotomy “animé” vs “inanimé”, which is inspired by earlier Jesuit sources. Furthermore, he distinguishes two numbers for the nouns, singular and plural, and three numbers for the verb, including the dual. It is remarkable that the dual is not only used for two, but also as trialis (‘trois nombres: singulier, pour un seul, le duel pour deux ou trois, le pluriel pour plusieurs). Maillard also explains the difference between the inclusive and exclusive first persons, a typical Algonquian distinction (Hewson 1994, p. 72), unseen by these French missionaries in the European languages they were familiar with (“Il y a une difference remarquable entre kinou et ninen. Les Sauvages parlant à des Français ninen elnouiek ‘nous sauvages’, parceque ceux à qui ils parlent ne sont point compris dans ce ‘nous’. Mais s’ils sont entre Sauvages ils diront kinou elnouikou. Cette distinction s’observe dans tous les verbes, au duel comme au pluriel. Peu de langues savantes nous offriroient une distinction si délicate et si raisonnée”, p. 9-10). In the section on the pronouns, we find the same observation (p. 16). Other significant descriptions and definitions are: “Il n’y a point de déclinaison: les noms ne varient point leurs finales suivant les différants cas” (p. 11); “Comme en latin, cependant, les noms varient considérablement leurs “finales” et lettres initiales suivant les différens tems, nombres, personnes, et suivant leurs relations de régime ou de sujet avec le verbe” (p. 11).
Probably the most important contribution of Maillard is the description of the verbs. Maillard does not start the chapter on verbs directly with the traditional “accidents”. Before giving the equivalents of the Latinate model, he opens this section with a distinction between several types of verbs (“plusieurs sortes de verbes”, p. 33): (1) intransitive verbs (“verbes qui n’ont rapport à aucun régime”), (2) transitive verbs with an animate, or noble object and transitive verbs with an inanimate oblect (“verbes qui ont rapport à un régime noble, et verbes qui ont rapport ignoble), and (3) verbs which include pronouns, “directly or “indirectly” (“verbes qui comprennent dans leur idée leurs pronoms régimes, soit directs, soit indirects”, p. 33). As Hewson observes (1994, p. 73), “he is breaking new ground in dealing with Algonkian rather than indo-European categories”, as the author also informs us, mainly when dealing with the third class (“la troisième classe de verbes qui est inconnue dans les langues ordinairement connues”, p. 34). When Maillard passes to the canonical “accidents” of the verb, we find also quite a few adaptations of the traditional model, such as the existence of two tenses (“Deux tems: le présent et le passé. Le futur passé est semblable au futur en ajoutant kigi devant; en parlant au présent mais d’une personne absente”). It is also remarkable that Maillard observes that some adverbs are not independent parts of speech, since they so not “signify” on their own, but only when affixed to other parts. They are derived from verbs: “Les adverbes qui expriment la manière dont une chose se fait se tirent des verbes et se joignent au commencement des autres pour ne former qu’un seul mot […].Ces adverbes seul ne signifient rien qu’autant qu’ils sont réunis à un autre mot, de cette manière elȣgȣei ‘je travaille’, delȣgȣei ‘je travaille ainsi’, ȣennmagilȣgȣei ‘je travaille avec peine’...” (p. 26).
In the section on syntax, we find several observations on agreement (l’accord), adapted to the typological features of Micmac, with particular regards to the animate/ inanimate distinction (“En considérant la syntaxe d’après la definition qu’on en donne dans les écoles, c’est-à-dire, comme étant la manière de joindre les mots d’une phrase, et les phrases entre elles, il s’ensuit qu’on doive naturellement placer dans la Syntaxe la seconde classe de verbes dont j’ai parlé dans la première partie, puisque ces verbes ne prennent une inflexion differente des verbes simples que pour s’accorder avec leur régime animé ou inanimé”).
Parties du discoursThe author does not summarize the parts of speech, but treats the following parts, in a rather uncommon order (for instance, the adverb, prepositions, conjunction and interjection appear before the verb): Nom, pronom, adverbe, preposition, conjonction, interjection, verbe.
Innovations term.The most salient meta-linguistic terms are: Finale négative, Passifs mentaux, Personnels mentaux et relatifs, Verbes réciproques mentaux (“L’esprit, dans le cœur, dans l’âme inflexion qui leur est propre ils expriment ce qui se passe dans l’âme”), Verbe négatif, plus-que-parfait absolu.
Corpus illustratifNo sample texts included or appended. Paradigms frequently appear and word lists, in particular the adverbs, etc.
Indications compl.
Influence subiePierre Biard and Ennemond Massé in the first two decades of the 17th century, but no document remained of these predecessors (Hanzeli 1969, p. 18). French school grammars of French or Latin (not identified). According to Hewson (1994, p. 70), Maillard had access to the linguistic work of the Jesuits and he had access to the hieroglyphic work of LeClerq. Hewson also concludes (1994, p. 71): “Maillard’s Micmac orthography is also influenced by the practices of the Jesuits in developing scripts for Amerindian languages”. One example is the use of the vertical ligature used in Greek. As Hanzeli (1969, p. 73) observes, “… the missionaries first used ou, e.g. oukhima ‘capitaine’ in Le Jeune’s Relation of 1634, but soon adopted the vertical ligature ŏ which first appeared in print in Brébeuf’s account of Huron in the Relation of 1636. This ŏ, the use of which soon became generalized for both Algonquian and Iroquoian languages represented a sound unit which was new for the missionaries insofar as it ranged between their French /o/ (“chose”) and /u/ (“blouse”), with intermediate articulations as positional variants” (see also Pickering’s comments on Rasles’s Abanaki-French dictionary, 1833, p. 569, who calls this Greek letter “guttural, but by this term he only means, that the lips are not used in uttering it, in contradistinction to “labial”). According to Pickering, ibid., the sounds occurs in Massachusetts and Delaware, and Eliot denoted it by OO [written as horizontal ligature, OZ] and W). The distinction between “noble” vs “ignoble” also is an inherited feature, taken from the Jesuit tradition. The distinction is used by Louis Nicolas (1634 - ca 1682; Hanzeli 1969, p. 69, 84-85, 103-121) and in Latin: “nobilia and ignobilia” (Hanzeli, 1969, p. 122: “Sylvestres non habent genera diversa, sed nomina, pronominal et verba nobilia et ignobilia”). The Jesuits in New France mainly used the grammars of Despauterius, Codret and Alvares during their grammatical training in Europe (see for more details and references Hanzeli 1969, chapter 3, p. 33-44). No specific works are mentioned explicitly by Maillard, which could have been used as model.
Influence exercéeMaillard’s writings had a direct influence on the work of several of his immediate successors. This particularly holds regarding his disciple, Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre (Deléage 2013, p. 10). However, according to Eaton (1891, p. 87), a copy of Maillard’s Ms was obtained by the Anglican Mr. Thomas Wood in 1764 and was the only physical instrument he used to learn the language in order to compose a grammar and translations of several evangelistic documents. Although we can be certain that he sent the first draft of his grammar to London for publishing in 1766 (Annual Report – Public Archives of Canada: 269, 272), this document is not extant today. In 1776, Wood sent “An Essay towards Bringing the Savage Indian Mickmacks Language to be Learnt Grammatically” to King George III (Upton 1976, p. 26, note 19), which was subsequently identified as a copy of Maillard’s grammar. Another figure of interest is Thomas Irwin, who, according to Upton (ibid.), taught himself Micmac by acquiring Maillard’s manuscripts. In 1830-1831 he published a series of excerpts entitled “Sketches of the Manners, Customs, Language, &c of the Mickmac Indians” in various newspapers including the Halifax Free Press and the Prince Edward Island Register. Additionally, in later correspondence with a legislator, Irwin claims to have written an elementary grammar “[comprising] one hundred and forty closely written pages of foolscap” (Irwin 1843), aimed at educating Micmac natives to read. Ultimately, this work has never officially circulated and we have not traced any copies. Another clear adaptation of Maillard’s work is found in the short grammar sketch/vocabulary appended to a work of the American Antiquarian Society entitled A Synopsis of the Indian Tribes of North America (Gallatin 1836), although he is erroneously named as Father Maynard therein. In a note, Gallatin signals that “[t]he Jesuits used the character 8, which we have preserved for the sound oo. We have substituted for the genders, the designations animate and inanimate, instead of noble and ignoble” (id., p. 228). Finally, and perhaps most notably, is the well-known Mi’kmaw Grammar of Father Pacifique (1990 [1939]). He makes extensive reference to Maillard and his works by name and includes several terms (anachronistic in his own time) that are adapted directly from his predecessor’s work (Francis & Hewson, in Buisson 1990, p. ix-x). This influence is perhaps best demonstrated in the opening line of the Preface to the 1939 edition of his work: “We owe to the abbé Maillard […], the first and in fact the only [Micmac] grammar which we have” (1990 [1939], p. xvi). Along with Bellenger, recognising how Maillard’s grammar “manque de methode et même de clarté par endroits” (1864, p. 10), these two scholars undertook the editing of his manuscripts.
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
Bellenger J. M. 1864; Besterman T. (éd.) 1957; Burns J. E. 1936; Davault D. (éd.) 1994; Déléage P. 2013; Eaton A. W. 1891; Edwards B. F. 2005; Eliot J. 1666; Gallatin A. 1836 {p. 228-232}; Hanzeli V. E. 1969; Hewson J. 1994; Hoffman B. G. 1955; Irwin T. 1843; Johnson M. D. 1974; Koerner E. F. 2004; Koren H. 1982 {Monsieur Maillard, l’apôtre des Micmacs, p. 56-61}; Lemieux L. 1985; Mithun M. 1999; Morin M. 2009; Pacifique de Valigny P. 1913; Pickering J. 1833; Pilling J. C. 1891; Rasles S. 1833; Rogers N. M. 1926; Schmidt D. L. 1993; Schmidt D. L. & Marshall M. 1995; Upton L. F. 1976
Rédacteur

Case, Justin · Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2019-11