Yukhíti Kóy


Yukhíti Kóy

A Reference Grammar of the Atakapa Language

Compiled by Geoffrey Kimball
From the field notes of Albert Samuel Gatschet, provided by Kišyuc and Tottokš
With translated and analyzed texts and vocabulary

318 pages
2 photographs, 2 tables, 3 appendixes, index


August 2022


$65.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

August 2022


$65.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Geoffrey Kimball presents the first grammar of the American Indian language Yukhíti Kóy, better known in English as Atakapa, once spoken in coastal southwestern Louisiana and coastal eastern Texas. The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw a drastic fall in the Atakapa population, and by the first decades of the twentieth century the Atakapa language ceased to be spoken.

The grammar is based on the field notes collected by Albert Samuel Gatschet in January of 1885, with additional material collected by John R. Swanton in 1907–8. Gatschet worked with two speakers of the language, Kišyuc, also known as Yoyot, and her cousin Tottokš, whose English names were Louison Huntington and Delilah Moss, respectively. John R. Swanton wrote a grammatical sketch of Atakapa in 1929 based on Gatschet’s notes and in 1932 published the texts Gatschet had gathered, as well as a dictionary.

The materials, originally written phonetically, have been phonemicized, and the nature of the grammar has been elucidated. The nine surviving texts in Yukhíti have been phonemicized, analyzed, and translated, and the parallels between them and other traditional oral literatures of Native American languages of the Southeast are discussed. This reference grammar includes a vocabulary of all words contained in the field notes.

Author Bio

Geoffrey Kimball is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University. He is the author of Koasati Traditional Narratives (Nebraska, 2010), Koasati Dictionary (Nebraska, 1994), and Koasati Grammar (Nebraska, 1991).


"This is a meticulously documented and useful reference source. . . . Because of the lack of documentation on this subject, any resource is a treasure for language revival and further academic studies."—Jurgita Antoine, Tribal College Journal

“There has not been a comprehensive reference grammar of the Atakapa language, and so this book fills a real need. There is very careful philological work here.”—George Aaron Broadwell, author of A Choctaw Reference Grammar

“This reference grammar will make a huge and much-needed contribution to Atakapan language studies and to linguistics in general. Geoffrey Kimball has clearly well researched the language based on both the original Gatschet field notes and the published Gatschet and Swanton Atakapa dictionary.”—David V. Kaufman, author of Clues to Lower Mississippi Valley Histories: Language, Archaeology, and Ethnography and Atakapa Ishakkoy Dictionary

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
1. Phonology
Atakapa Phonemes
Phonetic Processes
Active Phonological Processes
2. The Verb and Verbal Morphology
Aorist Mode
Preterite Mode
Dubitative Mode
Future Mode
Progressive Mode
Subordinate Mode
Stative Verbs
Aspect Suffixes
Verbal Prefixes
Comparison of Adjectives
Verbal Derivational Processes
Verb Pluralization
3. Nouns and Nominal Morphology
Mass Status
Ordering of Nominal Morphology
Nominal Cases
Noun Pluralization
Noun Possession
Noun Formation
4. Syntax
Fluid-S Marking
Word Order
Locative Compounds
Clausal Complements
Conjunction and Disjunction
Omitted Inflection in Coordinate Contexts
Relative Clause Equivalents
Interrogative Sentences
Idiomatic Expressions
5. Texts
Text 1: Cultural and Historical Topics
Text 2: The Skin-Desirer
Text 3: Treatment of the Heads of Infants
Text 4: Form Letter
Text 5: Biographical Sketch of Kišmok
Text 6: Notes on the Family of Tottokš
Text 7: Traditional Treatment of Disease
Text 8: Traditional Burial Practices
Text 9: A Fight among Black People in Lake Charles
Yukhíti–English Vocabulary
Appendix 1: Hiyékiti (Eastern Atakapa)–English Vocabulary
Appendix 2: Orkokisak (Western Atakapa)–English Vocabulary
Appendix 3: Yukhíti Kinship Terminology

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