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Full text of "Cahuilla Texts with an Introduction"

Introduction 1 3 

in the classical ones: rhythmic structures may become particu- 
larly highlighted at the end of content units, and such highlight- 
ing may function as a signal to mark the boundaries of such units. 
A further example, not contained in the texts shows a combina- 
tion of repetition in inverted word order and glottalization. Chona 
Dominguez. An Account of a Fire . . . Eemki pa c*emkfna ? veh. 

[end of paragraph], j>a ffemkinave gemki literally: *. . . our 

house, as we got burned. As we got burned, our house . . . ' 

To sum up we note that various features contribute — either 
alone or in combination — to the marking of content boundaries. 
Since the true relationship between the boundaries in the deep 
structure and the features which we observe in the surface struc- 
ture is not clear, we see no other alternative than to represent 
carefully each of these various features. In the emphatic stress 
pattern, the secondary stress [*] is written although in isolated 
words it is entirely predictable. It was said before that boundary 
features may even be contradictory: we may, for example, as in 
Eagle Flower 62/63, have an emphatic stress pattern and the 
paragraph may still go on for a further short sentence. Frequent- 
ly in Cahuilla narrative style, the transition from one speaker 
and his direct discourse to another speaker is marked by the fea- 
ture of glottalization without the feature of pause which is noramlly 
combined with it: Pa£aqaraw£h 17 . . . ? e*mem he*mu ? tum he~* 
cemem . . . 'So it's you?' *Yes, it's us...* This problem will 
be taken up in a larger frame of reference below 4. 3. 2. 

After what has been said, the reader will regard with caution 
whatever divisions have been marked within our texts: be it the 
paragraphs, marked by indentation, or the sentences, marked by 
a running number and a stop, or the phrases, marked by a comma. 
The notations are a compromise. If anyone feels the urge to in- 
quire more deeply into this; problem of the interrelation between 
deep structure units of content and surface structure boundary 
signals he may find, thanks to our careful notation of such signals 
as glottalization, emphatic stress and different pauses, ample 
material for constructing an appropriate theory provided that he 
knows the language very well. 

The following symbols are used: 

[ ] for completions of words that are not audible from the 



14 Cahuuia Texts 

recording but that, according to careful extrapolation, must 
nevertheless have been pronounced. 

[ to indicate poor recording and uncertain transcription up 
to the next following word boundary* 

3. 4. Representation of the Translation 

Below 4,4. we discuss our reasons for giving a target- 
oriented translation, not a source -oriented one. One of the 
necessary consequences of our general attitude to this problem 
would be to divide the English translation into paragraphs, sen- 
tences, phrases, etc. , independent of the divisions we marked 
in our original Cahuilla text. Instead, a compromise has been 
adopted here too. Indenting is applied in the English translation 
wherever a paragraph division has been recognized in the corres- 
ponding words of the Cahuilla original. The length of the senten- 
ces of the English translation has been brought into a near cor- 
respondence with the Cahuilla sentences. Thus, the running 
numbers of sentences in the original match those of the transla- 
tion fairly well. Of course, this was done for those readers — 
and they may constitute the majority — who are sufficiently 
interested in the details of the morphemic and lexemic structure 
of the Cahuilla sentences, yet unable to understand the original 
without the constant help of a translation. In doing so we have 
not remained true to our outspoken principles on what kind of in- 
formation a translation should contain. But as things are, one 
can hardly see how such a sacrifice could have been avoided. 

The following symbols are used in the translation: 

[ ] for additions not corresponding to any particular mor- 
pheme sequence in the original, but necessary for a full under- 
standing of the intended meaning of the original. 

( ) for substitutions, mostly of personal names for pronouns 
where the reference is not clear, e. g. *he (Mukat) . . . ' On the 
problem of personal reference, see 4. 4. 

Words in Songs were translated where possible, e. g. the 
songs contained in Kunvaxmal. Songs containing Cahuilla words 
but difficult to translate were given in the same transcription — 



15 

a phonemic on$ — as the original, e. g. Creation, 282, 285. 
Meaningless syllables of magic chants have been transcribed 
phonemically in the original; but in the English translation an 
anglicizing transcription has been substituted so the English read- 
er, pronouncing these sequences a l'anglaise will get an impres- 
sion of their phonetic shape. 

4. On the Interrelation between Text , Translation , and 

Grammar 

4. 1. Introduction 

According to the standards set for the description of an Amer- 
ican Indian Language by the exemplary works of Bloomfield and 
Sapir and perpetuated by such institutions as the Survey of Cali- 
fornia Indian Languages, a complete description should consist of 
a grammar, a dictionary and a collection of texts with translation. 
While linguists have in recent times given a considerable amount 
of thought to the question of what kind of information is or should 
be presented in a grammar, the analogous question about the in- 
formation presented in a text representation or in a translation 
has not yet been raised. We thus propose to raise, and if possible, 
to answer the question: what kinds of information should be pre- 
sented in a grammar, in a text, and in a translation? The answer, 
we think, must come from a close scrutiny of the interrelation 
between these fields of linguistics activity. Modern linguisitics, 
especially generative grammar in its various models, has put 
strong emphasis upon describing the linguistic competence of a 
native speaker. Linguistic competence, in this view, is explicated 
by the rules which generate all the grammatical sentences and 
only the grammatical sentences of a language. However, there 
can be no doubt as to the existence of a competence of performance. 
Concrete examples will be given in section 3. The phenomena ex- 
emplified must be part of the speaker's internalized knowledge of 
the language. Competence of performance manifests itself in the 
texts only. More precisely, it becomes apparent in the phonic 
representation of a text and in the description of its content* While 
we do not as yet dispose of a firmly established model and method- 
ology of content description, it is safe to say that the problems of 



16 Cahuilla Texts 

content description become apparent in translation. Examples 
of this will be found in section 4. 3. 3. 

Thus, the view is held here that linguistics is not coexten- 
sive with grammar making; that both the representation of the 
phonic aspect of a text and its translation into one of the inter- 
national languages are integral parts of the linguistic descrip- 
tion of a language; and that we must remain open to the possibility 
of integrating further aspects into the overall task of describing 
a language* 

The study of hitherto unexplored languages offers an instruc- 
tive test case for these views, because neither a grammar, nor 
a text collection, nor translations are given beforehand on which 
to build. In the famous passage of the Cours de linguistique ge- 
nerate (p. 2 3. ) , F. de Saussure raises the question of the object 
of linguistics. *While other sciences operate on things given 
beforehand which are then considered from different angles, we 
find nothing comparable in our field. Suppose someone utters 
the French word nu: a superficial observer might be tempted to 
see here a concrete linguistic thing; but a more attentive exam- 
ination will successively reveal three or four completely differ- 
ent things depending on the point of view adopted: a sound, the 
expression of a concept, the correspondent of the Latin word 
nudum, etc. Thus the thing, far from preceding the point of view, 
is, one might say, created by it; and who can tell us whether one 
or other of these different ways of considering an object is anter- 
ior or superior to the rest?' The translation is mine. 

If these words are substantially true, as we think they are 3 $ 
we must inquire next where these different viewpoints which 
'create' the object of linguistics stem from. In the following 
theoretical remarks we shall distinguish between two fundamental 
situations inherent in every verbal communication, each giving 
rise to different sets of questions and each calling for different 
sets of answers. 

4, 2. Four Postulates 



Introduction 1 V 

4. 2. 1. Two Fundamental Situations 

It vas intimated, in 4. 1. that the viewpoints which 'create* 
the object of linguistics result from fundamental situations, 
positions or attitudes which are inherent in speech communica- 
tion. We call these situations: 

(a) 'From inside 1 

(b) 'From outside 1 

(a) corresponds to the situation or position of the native 
speaker of a language A; it corresponds to his internalized tacit 
knowledge of the regularities of A. The attitude of (a) is: *I 
know everything. ' The problem of describing A from the point 

of view of (a) is to make the internalized tacit knowledge explicit. 
Since the internalized knowledge refers to a system of rules or 
regularities which has the effect of 'pairing 1 a certain sequence 
of sounds with a certain content, the central problem consists of 
explicating this mechanism intervening between sound and content. 

(b) corresponds to the situation or position of the native 
speaker of a language B when confronted with language A in an 
act of communication. Such a situation may occur at any time 
when people communicate verbally. The difference between A 
and B may be a slight one as between closely related dialects or 
as between the speech of the older and the speech of the younger 
generation of a speech community, or the difference may be a 
substantial one as between two unrelated languages, (b) , the 
position of a native speaker of B confronted with A is the position 
'from outside 1 ; he does not have at his command the full inter- 
nalized knowledge of A. 

It might be objected that (b) is a matter of performance, 
while (a) is a matter of competence. However, we have already 
postulated a competence of performance. This is tantamount to 
saying that certain phenomena that were attributed to performance 
and therefore remained outside the range of interest of generative 
grammarians must be given the attention and the status in theory 
they deserve. Among these phenomena we reckon the process of 
learning and describing a foreign language. Just as there is th«e 



18 Cahuilla Texts 

problem of describing A from the point of view of (a) , there is 
also the genuine problem of describing A from the point of view 
of (b). It is the problem of all field work. This problerri, which 
we may symbolize as (b) /A differs from the problem (a) /A in 
that (a) but not (b) may use the full implicit knowledge about the 
language he is describing in order to test his hypotheses. What 
at first sight seems to be given for (b) is, by way of perception, 
the acoustic speech signal and, by way of translation, the mean- 
ing content. Now, it is a fact that foreign languages can be ac- 
quired and that they can be described. Thus the problem (b) /A 
lends itself to a solution which with progressing field work grad- 
ually approaches the solution of problem (a) /A, though probably 
without ever completely matching it. A problem solver of the 
type (b) /A must proceed with particular care. When trying to 
state the regularities of A, (b) must again and again revert to 
the speech signal on the one hand and to the corresponding con- 
tent on the other. Here an attitude of 6 I don't know anything* 
may be superimposed on or even contradict the above described 
attitude of *I know everything. * 

The situation (b) /A is just as fundamental in speech commun- 
ication as is (a) /A. Both must be recognized to have theoretical 
status. Yet (b) /A is theoretically interesting in a different way 
from (a) /A. While in (a) /A the theoretical interest is focused 
upon the competence of a native speaker of A, the theoretical 
interest of (b) /A centers around the paths which (b) follows to- 
wards the solution of the problem of describing A as a foreign 
language. Very little is known empirically and in theory about 
these paths; a wide field is open here for future research. 

4. 2. 2. Presence of both Situations 

It seems necessary that in theory the two fundamental situa- 
tions be clearly distinguished. The informed reader may already 
have correlated them with the two most conflicting models of 
modern linguistic description: American structuralism and trans- 
formational generative grammar. In fact their paths of thought 
roughly correspond to the paths taken in solving problems of types 
(b) /A and (a) /A respectively. Since in type (b) /A the implicit 
knowledge about the regularities intervening between sound and 



Introduction 19 

content is incomplete, it seems understandable to exercise cau- 
tion and even to ignore part of the knowledge one actually has, 
as well as to search lor discovery procedures. Since in type 
(a) /A problems an implicit knowledge about the regularities may 
be advocated for testing hypotheses, generative grammar empha- 
sizes derivation and finds no room for discovery procedure in its 
theoretical framework. 

However, our thesis here is that such a sharp division, though 
necessary in theory, is not found in the reality of verbal commun- 
ication. What we find, instead, is that one fundamental situation 
predominates over the other, but never to its complete exclusion. 

A problem solver of the type (b) /A is never entirely ignorant 
of the abstract underlying mechanisms and structures of A to be 
described in the grammar of A. A case in point are the so-called 
universals of language. While linguists can't agree over the re- 
cognition of specific universals, their existence in principle seems 
generally accepted. 

A problem solver of the type (a) /A, though implicitly having 
at his command the abstract underlying mechanisms and structures, 
is given the additional faculty of partially ignoring this knowledge 
at any time that he so wishes. This extra capacity of a native 
speaker is a very basic part of his competence, which, among 
other things, makes it possible for native speakers to become lin- 
guists. The possibility of excluding from one's consideration — 
however temporarily — certain aspects of linguistic competence, 
is based on this very faculty. To cite an example: In the 1957 
model of generative grammar future research into semantics was 
postponed since it was said that semantics presupposes syntax. 
The art of punning or of rhyming, which often entails a conscious 
disregard of morphemic structure in order to highlight phonolog- 
ical similarities, at the same time presupposes the full internal- 
ized knowledge and the need as well as the possibility of disre- 
garding part of that very knowledge. 

4. 2. 3. Grammar , Text , and Translation 

How are the two fundamental situations we postulated earlier 
in this chapter, represented in a grammar, in a text and in its 
translation? 



20 Cahuilla 

We have seen that the fundamental situations do not occur in 
their pure, theoretical form, but that there is a predominance of 
the one or the other without either of them being completely ab- 
sent. 

4. 2. 3. 1. Grammar 

A grammar may be viewed, in the most general terms, as a 
device that explicates the association between certain sequences 
of physically observable vocal sounds emitted by a native speaker 
and certain inner thoughts or ideas, called content, of that same 
speaker. The grammarian tries to explain this phenomenon of a 
pairing between sounds and content by postulating that one who 
knows a natural language tacitly knows a finite system of rules 
enabling him to produce and understand an infinite number of sen- 
tences, some of which he has never previously encountered. What 
needs to be explained, then, is precisely this knowledge. Clearly, 
an idealization is necessary here: only a full or complete implicit 
knowledge of the system of rules can guarantee the production of 
all and only the grammatical sentences of a language. 

Our thesis here is, that grammar predominantly corresponds 
to the fundamental situation (a) with regard to A. The path the 
explication must take, then is the path leading from a system of 
abstract representations and of rules towards the vocal signal. 

4. 2. 3. 2. Text 

We first raise the question: what is a text? Astonishingly 
little thinking has been done about this problem until very recently. 
Some relevant contributions are now emerging from the European 
scene 4 . According to our own investigations two entirely different 
things are often confounded by using one and the same designation 
*text': 

1. *What a speaker tells/ as e. g. a story. 

2. The representation of what a speaker tells e. g. a graphic 
representation. 



Introduction 2 1 

While we have denounced (section following de Saussure) the idea 
that objects of linguistic research are given beforehand, inter- 
pretation 1. in fact seems to presuppose just such an object. 

But how can we possibly think of *what a speaker tells, * how 
can we manipulate this phenomenon in our mind? The only way 
is by representation. Even the most direct replica of *what a 
speaker tells, * the recording on magnetic tape, is a representa- 
tion resulting froir .ne application of certain definite principles 
of filtering out and thus of abstraction. A tape recording is 
therefore a representation comparable to any other representa- 
tion such as by phonetic symbols. Now, representations con- 
stitute the answers to problems and questions raised. What are 
these questions and what are the corresponding answers involved 
in text representation? In other words: What kind of information 
should a text representation contain? Questions, as it was said 
in section 1. , originate from certain fundamental situations. The 
two fundamental situations discussed earlier prove to be relevant 
here, too. 

A fragment of text in a language, e. g. an utterance in A, 
may be advocated among other things in order to refute a hypoth- 
esis concerning the grammatical structure of A. For such pur- 
poses texts have been utilized both by native speakers of A and by 
non-natives. If A is an aboriginal language, it has at least hither- 
to been the norm that representations of texts have been elaborated 
by and published for non-natives. A notable exception, which how- 
ever proves the rule, is the impressive collection of first readers 
and primers written by members of the Summer Institute of Lin- 
guistics. Representations of this kind, which are intended to serve 
the needs of indigenous people, are currently given the name of 
orthography 5 . We may speak of an orthography in the case of 
normalized representations where the criteria for normalization 
may not uniquely be derived from the structure of the language 
represented, as e. g. when the normalization is intended to facil- 
itate reading for speakers of a neighboring language of trade 
(Spanish in Mexico} . 

Now if our text representation is not an orthography in this 
sense and if it is composed by non-natives and intended for the 
use of non-natives who are only in the process of mapping out the 



22 Cahuilla Texts 

full set of regularities of language A, our thesis regarding text 
representation would be as follows: The representation embodies 
regularities underlying the actual speech signal; but the repre- 
sentation must be close enough to the signal to permit the non- 
native linguist to follow a path leading from the signal towards 
this representation and towards deeper ones which he might wish 
to establish. It is a representation which artificially abstracts 
from part of the knowledge a native speaker has, in particular 
from part of the morpho-syntactic information. But we have 
seen above that abstractions of this kind constitute an aspect of 
the competence of the users of natural language and that such 
artificial abstractions in themselves constitute a linguistic fact 
and must be given status in a comprehensive theory. Our repre- 
sentation tries to harmonize phonological and morphological in- 
formation so as to make it possible to base the representation 
on purely phonological rules. The rationale following from this 
thesis will become understandable when we discuss concrete ex- 
amples (below 4. 3. 2. ) . 

4. 2. 3. 3. Translation 

Neither a text nor its translation into a different language are 
things that can be taken for granted. Thus, we again raise the 
question: What kind of information should a translation contain? 

Our thesis here is that a translation should render as faith- 
fully as possible the cognitive content of the original text. All 
then seems to depend on the notion of cognitivity. For us this is 
an empirical question which will be answered by discussing ex- 
amples in 4. 3. 3. 

One of the basic controversies about translation is whether 
it should be literal or free. E. Nida distinguishes between two 
basic attitudes which he terms *Formal Equivalence* (F-E) and 
*Dynamic Equivalence' (D-E). A translation following the F-E- 
principle is basically source -oriented, a D-E-translation is 
oriented towards the receiver and his response. While F-E aims 
at equivalence with regard to the forms of the source language, 
D-E tries to achieve equivalence with regard to the reactions of 
the receiver in the target language. As Nida very aptly remarks 7 , 
an evaluation of different translations must first of all take into 



introduction 2 5 

possibility — which will be corroborated by empirical consider- 
ations (4. 3. 3. ) — that not every kind of content information con- 
tained in a text might be reproduced in the translation, the trans- 
lation containing in principle the *cognitive content* of a text. If 
this is accepted the question then arises as to where in the 
*organon' this kind of information not reproduced in the transla- 
tion should be represented. 

A new section of the 'organon', not provided for in tradition- 
al linguistics, might be set up. The name — pragmatics might 
qualify — is of secondary importance. What we are trying to 
say here is that certain facets (one might also call them features) 
may combine into new kinds of problems or questions calling for 
new kinds of answers. This in turn would mean that the rigidly 
compartmentalizing view of the *section* (of grammar, text, 
translation, as pidgeonholes for problems) should be given up in 
favour of a view which admits cross -classification of problems. 
Thus, a problem like the earlier mentioned puns might show one 
feature pertaining to the (a) /A and one feature pertaining to the 
(b) /A situation. Or, a problem might show a sociological facet 
or feature and a linguistic one. 

Just as there are no pre-established things or objects of 
linguistic research, neither are there any pre-established domains 
into which to divide the problems. This ultimately holds for lin- 
guistics itself: the view of a firmly delimited field of research 
should be abandoned. In practice, this has already been done, 
the proliferation of such compound designations as sociolinguistics 
and psycholinguistics bears witness to it. 

^* ^* Empirical Considerations 

4. 3. 1. Grammar 

In the section on grammar (4. 2. 3. 1. ) it was stated that a 
grammar must explicate the association between sound and con- 
tent. We know that generative transformational grammar claims 
to do this by a finite system of rules, and that the system con- 
sists of a base including a categorial component plus a lexicon, 
and of a set of transformational rules. The base is said to con- 
tain all the information necessary for the semantic interpretation. 



26 Cahuilla. Texts 

However, in recent developments of transformational work 
it has become more and more evident that large portions of con- 
tent transmitted from speaker to hearer and belonging to a 
speaker 1 s ability to produce and understand sentences have sim- 
ply been omitted from treatment in the base of a grammar. 
These portions comprise such information about the situation of 
the speaker as his social status, his geographical and temporal 
location at the time of the speech event. Various proposals have 
been advanced to cover these kinds of information within the 
framework of generative grammar. The procedures proposed 
may be roughly divided into two classes: 

(a) The information is introduced directly into the system 
of generative rules. Sadoc^s Hypersentences * are of this kind; 
also Fillmore ! s entailment rules 11 . 

(b) The information is introduced indirectly by metalinguis- 
tic statements. Proposals of this kind were advanced among 
others, by McCawley 12 and Wunderlich . 

It is not our intention to discuss these proposals here. Let 
it suffice to say that the corresponding problems are basically 
the same as those treated by us in the section on translation 
(4. 3. 3. )• Incidentally, it is while working out a translation that 
one becomes aware of many content features not yet accounted 
for in grammar. The main problem is not whether to pidgeon- 
hole them under Grammar or Translation, but to characterize 
them exhaustively by pointing out their distinctive features or 
facets 

The only point of grammar we want to examine more closely 
belongs to phonology. Here it is much easier than in morphology 
and syntax to justify an abstract underlying representation and a 
set of rules indicating the path leading towards the signal. 

One of the salient features of our underlying representations 
is the separation by space of word forms. In the utterances act- 
ually heard the word boundaries are often blurred by optional 
phenomena of Sandhi. Consider the following utterance in its ab- 
stract representation. 



Introduction 27 

(1) 1 1 mutuleka hemk w e ? eqewen| | 
'they were (are) rising early' 

Each word is marked by a primary accent. The following 
points of morphological structure need to be retained here: 

mutuleka *early' shows a suffix - ka indicating direction in time 
or space, 

hemk w e ? eqewen *they were (are) rising 1 is a verb form and 

contains a root -k w £ ? e - 'rise 1 , a subject prefix of the third 
person plural and suffixes. Now, an optional contraction 
may occur between the two words when the first ends in a 
vowel and the second begins with a prefix showing the phonic 
sequence hV. 

In the case of the example we chose three phonetic realiza- 
tions are possible: 

(2 ) (i) [mutulekahemk w e' ? eqewen] 

i. e. no contraction has taken place, 

(ii) [mutuleke • mk w e* ? eqewen] 

i. e. the final vowel and the initial h have been dropped, 
the vowel following the h is lengthened. This is a rule 
we would call Contr^. 

(iii) [mutuleka * mk w e" ? eqewen]. 
i. e. the final vowel is lengthened, the initial h plus 
vowel are dropped. This rule we would call Contra* 

Loss of intervocalic h with compensatory lengthening of a 
vowel is also known even where the conditions stated above do not 
prevail e, g. , when the vowels preceding and following the h are 
homorganic. What is troublesome in our example is that the con- 
traction is optional and that there is a choice between two differ- 
ent sets of sandhi rules. It has not been possible so far to spec- 
ify the conditions that trigger the contraction and that determine 
the choice between Contr^ and Contr^. 



28 Cahuilla Texts 

4. 3. 2. Text 

We follow the line of thought indicated by continuing to use 
the example discussed in the preceding section. The conditions 
so far unspecified may pertain to various orders. They may have 
to do with speed, or with social status, or even with dialect. 

Evidently then, it has not yet been possible to explicate the 
full internalized knowledge of a native speaker regarding these 
structural connections. But one should add that this is the nor- 
mal situation vis-a-vis a text in a foreign language. 

Reminding ourselves of our general theses regarding text 
representation we would now raise the question of what would 
be the appropriate representation in the case of our example? 

One might consider a narrow phonetic transcription to be a 
possible solution. However, we see no reason why all the cum- 
bersome phonetic detail should be presented and why the regular- 
ities that may be formulated in phonological terms should be 
ignored. Taking into account these regularities would certainly 
make for a more perspicuous representation. More important: 
a text representation is meant to be used in conjunction with a 
grammar and a dictionary. Difficulties are bound to arise if the 
underlying representation employed in the grammar and diction- 
ary and the text representation are too far apart from one an- 
othe r. 

On the other hand one might choose the abstract underlying 
representation for the text as well. However, in the case of our 
example, several pieces of information would then have to be 
dropped: information on whether, in this particular instance, a 
contraction takes place or not; and if it does whether Contri or 
Contr2 would be chosen. Once given up in favour of a normali- 
zation, these pieces of information can no longer be recovered. 
They may represent details of minor importance or they may on 
the other hand represent some missing links in some important 
structural connection. 

Clearly both of these radical solutions to the problem of a 
text representation show serious disadvantages. What seems to 
be called for, then, is a compromise. Where phenomena of 
Sandhi occur we would give the information which comes from the 
speech signal preference over the information which comes from 



Introduction 

morphology. Thus, we would write without space 

(3) /mutuleke *mk w e* ? eqewen/ or 

(4) /mutuleka # mk w e* ? eqewen/ 

as the case may be. This notation roughly corresponds to a 
phonemic one. Where no Sandhi phenomena occur, we see no 
reason to omit from the representation information as to mor- 
phological structure and boundaries of words. By introducing 
once and for all the convention that space is phonologically irrele- 
vant, we may write in our texts 

(5) /taxliswetem hemk w e ? eqewen/ 
*the people were (are) rising' 

which would be identical with such an abstract representation as 

(6) || taxliswetem hemk w e* 9 eqewen 1 1. 
4. 3. 3. Translation 

We should like to present the reader with certain classes of 
content phenomena for which it was difficult if not impossible to 
find an English translation. More precisely, it was not possible 
to find constant and principled ways of transposing them into a 
different language. 

The classes of phenomena have a common denominator in 
that they all include reference to the speaker and to the speech 
act* 

4. 3. 3. 1. Deictic Adverbs 

In Cahuilla, we find a class of local adverbs which show the 
following contrastive semantic components: 

1. direction vs. non-direction (or place) , 

2. proximal vs. medial vs. distal deixis . 



30 Cahuilla Texts 

Informants will unhesitatingly give the following translation 
equivalents for proximal: ? fpa 'here, * ? fka 'in this direction, ' 
? ipax 'from here, * ? fpika 'towards here. ' For medial: ? £r|a 
*there, where you are' (correlative). For distal: peqa 'there, 
far away, * pxka 'to a far away place (one cannot see) \ peiqax 
'from far. ' 

Our primary interest is in the proximal and the distal sets. 
Proximal clearly involves the point of view of the speaker. Dis- 
tal, unmarked in this respect, in some cases does not specify 
proximity. In others it implies distance, the place without direct 
connection with the speaker. 

There are two striking things about these adverbs: 1. Their 
frequency: every verb form in Cahuilla text may be and often is 
construed with a local adverb. 2. Their use: both proximal 
and distal deixis occur in dialogues as well as in narrative prose. 
Whereas in a dialogue it is natural from our point of view that 
the speaker 1 s location is constantly involved and that proximal 
deixis is expressed, in narrative prose we find it normal to re- 
frain from introducing the speaker ! s (i.e. the narrator's) point 
of view and to leave proximal deixis unexpressed. What we find 
in Cahuilla narrative prose, however, is an unrestricted use of 
adverbs showing proximal deixis. Consider the example 

(7) kelawati pe*mhivinwen me* mvukqekpaywen ta ? , 
me •mc'exinwen ? fkai 

'They took up wooden sticks and hit them (the geese) , 
they killed them in this direction* 

Upon closer inspection of all that is entailed in this and in similar 
examples we find that the contrastive semantic features of prox- 
imal vs. distal may be correlated both with the narrator's situa- 
tion and with the point of view of the agent of the verb phrase to 
which the adverb belongs. In other words: what coincides with 
the agent's localization is proximal, what is distant from the agent 
is distal. Thus, in our example: '. . . they killed them [- an action 
which originated from them and went the way of their intention -]* . 
The native informant, however, when asked about the meaning of 
?ika in this and similar examples would unhesitatingly answer: 
"The direction in which I am pointing. ' 



Introduction 

This complexity may be illuminated by pointing to the quite 
analogous use of a present tense in narrative prose in many- 
languages, e. g. the Praeeens Historicum in the classical lan- 
guages. The present tense, like proximal deixis, implies re- 
ference to the speech event. And it, like proximal deixis in 
Cahuilla, may also be correlated with the narrated event. It is 
precisely this twofold reference which causes the impression of 
a 'vivid or dramatic narration. ' 

In a translation into English or German, it is impossible to 
find a principled way of transposing this double reference in prox- 
imal deixis. Each local adverb would necessitate comments of 
the sort just made. This, however, I would no longer call a 
translation. Because of these difficulities we would propose to 
leave unexpressed the double reference and, in the case of our 
example, simply indicate when the action shows a direction orig- 
inating either from the agent or from the narrator. Such a pro- 
cedure would result in a certain loss of information for which, 
apparently, the translation cannot make up. No doubt we are pre- 
sented here with a feature of content structure which is controlled 
by the native speaker and thus forms part of his internalized 
knowledge. The question arises as to whether the grammar should 
account for such features or whether an independent section should 
be set up for this and similar purposes. Much more important, 
however, is the task of explicitly specifying the problem in all its 
facets. 

4. 3. 3. 2. Personal Reference 

The problems to be dealt with in this section pertain to the 
identification and change of the participants in the narrated events. 
In Cahuilla narrative style the participant persons must be ident- 
ified by their name only at their first appearance or in disjunctions 
of the type 'either A or B'. Otherwise the various persons are 
normally referred to as pe* 9 'he, she, it' which functions as a pro- 
noun third person and shows distal deixis. Since it can only be 
differentiated in number but not in gender, a considerable uncer- 
tainty arises for the non-native listener — not for the native nar- 
rator — as to which person is being referred to. An English or 
German translation cannot possibly imitate this unspecified way 



32 Cabuilla Texts 

of personal reference: explicit names or kinship terms have to 
be substituted. This, however, is in certain definite ways con- 
trary to the intentions of the original text, which are to leave 
specific personal identification unexpressed wherever possible, 
or even to employ circumlocutory expressions in order to weak- 
en the directness of identification. The following expressions 
provide examples of this feature: 

(8) pi? tikuS 'he, Takus" 

The personal name is not given directly but in an appositive con- 
struction. 

(9) pe"> hi^itete 9 takuS 

'he, what was (is) his name, Taku¥* 

Again the personal name is introduced as an apposition to the 
personal pronoun plus a pro-form explicitly stating uncertainty. 
The frequence of expressions like (8) and (9) in Cahuilla narra- 
tive texts contrasts in a striking way with the awareness of the 
natives as to which person is being referred to, an awareness 
which we have tested at regular intervals in order to be sure. 

Again we are presented with a very special content feature: 
avoidance of personal identification in spite of factual unambiguity. 
Without any doubt it is part of a native speaker's ability to con- 
trol this feature. No doubt either that the problem has both a 
linguistic and an extralinguistic facet. As for the extralinguistic 
facet we would have to inquire into the role of naming and person- 
al reference within the overall sociological code of the Cahuilla 
people — an inquiry which would probably come too late in view 
of the rapid disintegration of this tribe. 

In any case it seems doubtful whether facets of this sort can 
be accounted for in the grammar or whether a special section, 
say, sociolinguistics, should be introduced. It is, however, far 
more important to give an explicit statement of the different facets 
of the problem. 



Introduction 33 

4. 3. 3. 3. Status of the Proposition 

There are two contrastive expressions to assert the exis- 
tence of objects: 

(10) ? iyaxwen 'it exists in this way' 

'is this way* 

which is a verb form and may be analyzed into a demonstrative 
prefix 2±T* * ne verD root - yax - 'manifestation of some quality 
or manner*, a stem affix - we n - 'durative'. This expression 
asserts existence in a definite quality or way, as in 

(11) tamit pfka ? iyaxwenepa 

'when the sun was this way, in that direction' 
(indication of time) 

The other existential predication is: 

(12) miyaxwen 'it exists in an underterminate 

way* 

'it is somehow' 

a verb form analyzable into an indefinite or interrogative prefix 
rn-, the verb root and affix as in (10) . This expression asserts 
existence in an indefinite or uncertain quality or way, as in 

(13) taxmu'at piyk miyaxwen 

'there is a song about it, * literally: 
'a song is somehow to it' 

(14) hunwet miyaxwen 

'he is a bear, ' literally: 

'he somehow' exists as a bear' 

(15) tuku kuyil miyaxwe ? ne 

'yesterday there was a funeral, ' literally: 
'yesterday there was somehow a funeral. * 



34 Cahuilla Texts 

The literal translation, which takes indeliniteness into account, 
seems odd to us, given the factual character of the asserted events. 

In Cahuilla the existence of an object has to be expressed as a 
qualified existence, whereby the qualification may either be demon- 
strative ('in this way*) or indefinite ('somehow') . Since there is 
no correlate to the English or German existential predication with- 
out qualification, one might consider ignoring in translation the 
indefinite prefix as the unmarked member of the opposition. This, 
however, would lead to a loss of information. For not only may 
existential predication be qualified as uncertain, there are othet 
indications in our texts that the Cahuillas, in contradistinction to 
speakers of West -European languages, express factual and observ- 
able things as if they were uncertain. One such indication is the 
frequency of such particles or phrases of indecision. Or doubt £s 

(16) (i) 9 esan *I guess' 

(ii) warn 'maybe * 

(iii) ha* ki ? i 'or not' 

in description of things or situations that can be seen both by the 
informant and by the linguist 15 . 

Thus, in Cahuilla existential predication has to have a status 
either of definiteness or inde finite ness, and it is part of a native 
speaker's ability to control these features appropriately. It 
seems difficult, however, to find a purely linguistic explanation 
for the reasons why the existence of certain objects is qualified 
in a definite way whereas the existence of other objects is marked 
indefinite. In other words, it is doubtful whether all the relevant 
structural connections with these empirical facts may be found 
within the domain of verbal behaviour. The problem in addition 
to the linguistic facets outlined above may have one or more ex- 
tralinguistic facets. In consequence it seems doubtful whether it 
would be appropriate to account for these facts of content structure 
in a grammar. 

4. 4. Conclusion 

As stated before, the phenomena described under 4. 3. 3. 1. - 
4. 3. 3. 3. have a common denominator: They indicate the speaker 1 s 



Introduction 35 

situation (locational, sociological, psychological) vis-a-vis the 
utterance. All these phenomena proved to be difficult if not 
impossible to account for in translation. 

Complying now with the task of distinguishing cognitive from 
non-cognitive content (see above 4. 2. 3. 3. ) , we might state that 
these phenomena constitute the class of non-cognitive features 
of content. And we might further state that these and only these 
may be ignored in translation, with the proviso, however, that 
the information should not be dropped altogether but accounted 
for in another section or compartment of the *organon\ 

Considering which would then be the appropriate section we 
found that grammar would not qualify. One might, therefore, as 
intimated before, wish to establish a new compartment to which 
one might give such names as pragmatolinguistics (including 
sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and others) or simply prag- 
matics. Such a new compartment might correspond to a further 
fundamental situation in verbal communication which would have 
to be added to the two fundamental situations (a) 'From Inside 1 , 
(b) 'From Outside* mentioned in 4. 2. 1. This further fundamental 
situation would be characterized thus: (c) 'Pragmatics is involved 
in every speech act* . 

The proposal to recognize a separate field of pragmatics is 
not new , However, we must warn all those willing to accept 
such a proposal without further questioning. The findings of our 
study may be summarized in the statement: 

There is a basic antinomy between two views which we might call 
compartmentalisation (or classification ) and cross -classification . 

Compartmentalisation seems to correspond to fundamental situa- 
tions in speech communication. It results in the establishment of 
such domains as grammar, text, translation, pragmatics. Cross- 
classification corresponds to the features or facets of problems 
which we have attempted to point out in the course of our research. 
It is true that there is no cross-classification without classes. 
But it is also true that classes are based on qualities or features. 

The view of grammar as a monolith must be abandonned. 
The concept of problem features serves to explicate the interrelation 



36 Cahuilla Texts 

between grammar, text, translation, pragmatics, and other 
possible domains. 

After all that has been said before, it seems that linguistics 
in the usual sense is too narrow a platform from which to discuss 
the interrelation between these domains. A broader frame of 
reference would be needed here. Such a frame of reference could 
very well be represented by the new science which, following Ch. 
S. Peirce, has been called Semiotic and which, at the present, is 
in a phase of vigorous expansion. The topic, however, cannot be 
treated here as it would go far beyond the scope of the present 
study. 



INDIANA UNIVERSITY PUBLICATIONS 

LANGUAGE SCIENCE MONOGRAPHS 

Editor: C. F. Voegelin 

Volume 6 






Hansjakob Seiler 



CAHUILLA 
TEXTS 
WITH AN 
INTRODUCTION 



Copyright © 1970 by Indiana University 
All rights reserved 



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