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Native Languages of the Americas:
Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language

Language: This Algonquian language has two major dialects: Maliseet (or Malécite), spoken mainly in New Brunswick, and Passamaquoddy (or Peskotomuhkati), spoken mostly in Maine. There are 1500 speakers of both dialects combined. Very few people in the younger generations speak the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language (especially the Passamaquoddy dialect), but language revival efforts are underway to restore its use among Maliseet and Passamaquoddy children. Maliseet-Passamaquoddy is a polysynthetic language with complex verb morphology and fairly free word order.

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People: The Passamaquoddy and Maliseet tribes belonged to the loose confederation of eastern Indians known as the Wabanaki Alliance, together with the Mi'kmaq, Penobscot, and Abenaki Indians. They are politically independent nations, discussed together here because they speak mutually intelligible dialects of the same Algonquian language. The Maliseet tribe lives primarily in Canada, especially New Brunswick, with one band across the border in neighboring Maine. Their own name for themselves is Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet is a Mi'kmaq word for someone who can't talk very well,) but today they are usually known as Maliseets or Malecites. The Passamaquoddy tribe lives primarily in Maine, although there are also a few hundred Passamaquoddy Indians in New Brunswick.

History: The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy people were closely related neighbors who shared a common language, but though the French referred to both tribes collectively as Etchemins, they always considered themselves politically independent. The tribes of the east coast were confusing to Europeans, who couldn't understand why dozens of small groups of Native Americans lived together yet claimed to be separate nations. What they didn't realize was that these groups had not always been so small. European diseases decimated the Indian populations--the Passamaquody were 20,000 strong before European contact, and no more than 4000 afterwards--and they regrouped as best they could. The Maliseet and Passamaquoddy, near relatives and long-time allies who spoke dialects of the same language, banded together against European and Iroquoian aggression with their neighbors the Abenakis, Penobscots, and Micmacs. This Wabanaki Confederacy was no more than a loose alliance, however, and the tribes never gave up their sovereignty. Today the Passamaquoddy live primarily in the United States and the Maliseet in Canada, but the distinction between the two is not imposed by those governments--the two tribes have always been politically distinct entities.

Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language Resources
Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language samples, articles, and indexed links.

Maliseet Culture and History Directory
Overview and related links about the Maliseets past and present.

Maliseet Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Maliseets, their language and culture.

Maliseet Legends
Introduction to Maliseet mythology.

Passamaquoddy Culture and History Directory
Overview and related links about the Passamaquoddys past and present.

Passamaquoddy Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Passamaquoddies, their language and culture.

Passamaquoddy Legends
Introduction to Passamaquoddy mythology.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Language Resources

Our Online Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Language Materials

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Vocabulary:
    List of vocabulary words in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, with comparison to words in other Algonquian languages.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Maliseet-Passamaquoddy words.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Animal Words:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Maliseet-Passamaquoddy language.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Body Parts:
    Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Food:
    Worksheet with pictures of food words in the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Numbers:
    Worksheet showing how to count in Passamaquoddy-Maliseet.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Possession:
    Lesson on the use of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy possessive prefixes.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Dictionaries and Language Books for Sale
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English and Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Dictionary * A Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Dictionary * Maliseet Vocabulary:
    Maliseet-Passamaquoddy dictionaries.
Landscapes, Legends & Language of the Passamaquoddy People * Maliyan:
    Educational CD-ROMs in the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet language from the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribe.
Beginning Passamaquoddy * Passamaquoody-Maliseet Language Programs:
    Maliseet-Passamaquoddy language lessons and audio courses for sale.
Tales From Maliseet Country * Passamaquoddy Texts:
    Annotated collections of Passamaquoddy-Maliseet stories with English translation.
Defying Maliseet Language Death:
    Interesting book about ongoing Maliseet language revitalization by a Native researcher.
Accent and Syllable Structure in Passamaquoddy * Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Verb Morphology:
    Maliseet-Passamaquoddy linguistic studies.
American Indian Language Dictionaries:
    Maliseet-Passamaquoddy and other Native American dictionaries and language materials for sale.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Introduction to the Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language * Malecite-Passamaquoddy Description:
    General linguistic descriptions of Passamaquoddy-Maliseet.
Languages of the Maritimes:
    Overview of the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet languages.
Pronouncing Passamaquoddy-Maliseet:
    Passamaquoddy-Maliseet alphabet with audio samples.
Passamaquoddy Orthography:
    Maliseet-Passamaquoddy writing system and phonology.
Maliseet Vocabulary:
    1899 Maliseet-Passamaquoddy lexicon, phonology, and grammar, by Montague Chamberlin.
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Language Tree:
    Theories about Maliseet-Passamaquoddy's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language Structures:
    Passamaquoddy-Maliseet linguistic profile and academic bibliography.
Maliseet Nation Radio:
    Maliseet language lessons and other programming broadcast by the Maliseet First Nations of New Brunswick.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Glossaries and Sound Files

Maliseet Dictionary:
    Online Maliseet-Passamaquoddy dictionary.
Freelang Maliseet Dictionary:
    Free downloadable wordlist of the Maliseet language.
Skicin: Time Words * Skicin: Kinship Terms:
    Passamaquoddy-Maliseet word lists.
Maliseet Audio Samples * Malecite Sounds * Kids' Stop: Maliseet Language:
    Phrasebooks with audio files of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy words and phrases.
Mee-Lee-Ceet Primer:
    19th century Maliseet-Passamaquoddy vocabulary lists.
Passamaquoddy Canoe Names:
    Illustrations of a canoe with the parts labeled in Passamaquoddy-Maliseet.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Linguistics Research

Raising to Object and Proper Movement * Syntax at the Edge:
    Cross-Clausal Phenomena Abstract * On Two Structural Asymmetries in Passamaquoddy:
    Papers and abstracts about Maliseet-Passamaquoddy syntax by Benjamin Bruening.
Raising and Long-Distance Agreement in Passamaquoddy:
    Papers on Maliseet-Passamaquoddy syntax by Philip LeSourd.
Demonstrative Words in Passamaquoddy * Passamaquoddy Copulas:
    Abstracts about Maliseet-Passamaquoddy morphology and syntax by Eve Ng.
Philip LeSourd * Benjamin Bruening:
    Profiles of two linguists studying Maliseet-Passamaquoddy.

Literature and Texts in the Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Language

    Glooskap stories in the original Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, with English translation.
The Wampum Records:
    Maliseet-Passamaquoddy recounting of the formation of the Wabanaki Confederacy, glossed in English.
Teachings from the Medicine Wheel:
    Mi'kmaq and Maliseet-Passamaquoddy stories, with audio recordings.
Passamaquoddy Stories:
    Audio files of two stories in the Passamaquoddy dialect.
Kuloskap Stories * The Wampum Records:
    Glossed Maliseet-Passamaquoddy texts.
Passamaquoddy Calendar:
    Passamaquoddy-language calendar.
Language Museum: Malecite-Passamaquoddy:
    Christian prayers in Malecite-Passamaquoddy translation.
Canadian Human Rights Tribute:
    Plaque in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Language Preservation and Usage

Someplace along the line...:
    Interview with educator Caroline Ennis, in English and Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, about language and language loss.
Preserving the Passamaquoddy Language and Culture:
    Articles about Maliseet-Passamaquoddy language revitalization efforts in Maine.
Confronting Language Ambivalence and Language Death:
    Paper by Robert Leavitt about Micmac and Maliseet language maintenance.
Reviving Passamaquoddy:
    Article about language preservation efforts on the Passamaquoddy reservation.
Aboriginal Head Start:
    Article about Maliseet language education for preschoolers on the Tobique reservation.
Sharing our Wabanaki Perspective:
    Article by a Maliseet man about the meaning of language loss and the erosion of Indian identity.
Tobique-Mactaquac Language Revitalization:
    Article about Micmac and Maliseet language preservation efforts in Canada.
Maliseet Classes:
    Micmac and Maliseet language classes at the University of New Brunswick.
    Demographic information about Maliseet-Passamaquoddy from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Maliseet First Nation celebrates translation of Bible into Maliseet:
    Article on a Maliseet language preservation project in Canada.

Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Proper Names

Place Names in the Maritimes * Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Placenames:
    American place names in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy.
Native American Dog Names:
    Our new fundraiser offering names for dogs and other animals in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy and other Native American languages.

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Additional Resources, Links, and References

   Passamaquoddy-Maliseet Language:
   Bibliographies of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy language materials.
   Langue Malécite et Micmaque * Le malécite en ligne:
   Maliseet-Passamaquoddy language articles in French.
   La Lengua Maliseet-Passamaquoddy:
   Article on the Maliseet-Passamaquoddy language in Spanish. With a language map.
   Additional links.
  Passamaquoddy Tribe: * Maliseet Tribe:
  Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Indian books.

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