A Grammar of Creek (Muskogee)


A Grammar of Creek (Muskogee)

Jack B. Martin
With the assistance of Margaret McKane Mauldin and Juanita McGirt

Studies in the Anthropology of North American Indians Series

504 pages
1 illustration, 2 maps, 60 tables, 13 figures, 3 appendixes


May 2011


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eBook (PDF)
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May 2011


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About the Book

Creek (or Muskogee) is a Muskogean language spoken by several thousand members of the Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole nations of Oklahoma and by several hundred members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This volume is the first modern grammar of Creek, compiled by a leading authority on the languages of the southern United States.
Intended for scholars, students, and Creek instructors, this reference grammar describes all the major morphological and syntactic patterns in the language. Special attention is given to pitch accent and tone, active agreement, locative prefixes, tense, aspect, and switch reference. The description covers several hundred years of documentation and draws heavily on materials written by Creek speakers. It is likely to be the definitive source on the language for years to come.

Author Bio

Jack B. Martin is an associate professor of English at the College of William and Mary. He is the coeditor of Totkv Mocvse/New Fire: Creek Folktales and the coauthor of A Dictionary of Creek/Muskogee (Nebraska 2000). Margaret McKane Mauldin is a Creek instructor at the University of Oklahoma. She was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the College of William and Mary for her contribution to the study and preservation of the Creek language. Juanita McGirt teaches Creek in Okemah, Oklahoma, and transcribed and translated recordings and documents for this volume.


"This book is a very good, thorough reference grammar for Muskogee. . . . For those working with the language and its speakers, it is quite useful and will be an oft-referenced work."—Pamela Innes, Journal of Anthropological Research

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and conventions
The language and its speakers
1. Creek and the Creek-speaking peoples
2. Overview of the language
3. Creek dialects and ways of speaking
4. Phonemes
5. General phonological processes
6. The organization of phonemes into higher units
7. Stress and tone in nouns
8. Stress, tone, and grades in verbs
9. Orthography
Nouns and their modifiers
10. Nominalization
11. Compounding
12. Plural nouns
13. Size
14. Possession
15. Pronouns
16. Postpositions
17. Noun forms with adverbial function
18. Adjectival nouns (quantifiers)
Verbs and their modifiers
19. Locative prefixes
20. Agreement
21. Reflexives and reciprocals
22. Adding objects: dative and instrumental
23. Plural verbs
24. Voice alternations: middle -k-, causative -ic- and -ipeyc-
25. Impersonals
26. Degree
27. Verb forms with adverbial function
28. Aspect
29. Expressing time: tense and related notions
30. Negation
31. Mood
32. 'Be', auxiliaries, and modality
33. Numbers and quantifiers
34. Describing motion and direction
35. Existence
36. Sound-symbolic verbs
Discourse markers
37. Case and switch-reference markers
38. Focus of attention clitic
39. Referential clitic
40. Other markers
41. Word order and basic syntax
42. Clause types
43. Interpreting pronouns, reflexives, and reciprocals
44. Style
Appendix 1: Paradigms
Appendix 2: Texts
Appendix 3: List of common affixes


Winner of the 2011 Leonard Bloomfield Book Award, sponsored by the Linguistic Society of America

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