Choctaw Primer

The writer of these posts is considering interesting aspects of the Choctaw language. From the perspective of a Choctaw citizen who is learning the language in Mississippi, where the language is still measurably alive, and who therefore is very exposed to a living discourse on the language. These posts will hopefully contribute helpfully to the discourse, without stoking too much disagreement among those with dialectal differences of opinion.

The writer’s disclaimer:

This writer is not a linguist. This writer is not yet fluent in Choctaw. This writer has access to fluent Choctaw speakers every day, and often takes this for granted. This writer thinks he has good listening and hearing skills, which is a big crux when it comes to contractions. This writer does have good looking ears, underneath all the fuzz, sahaksobis wonoksho pisachokma, which is to say, the writer does often use conjecture. And this writer does have dialectal differences of opinion.

What is the purpose of this blog if the writer should be spending more time with speakers?

This writer is trying to learn more about spoken aspects of the language by documenting things learned from written resources, and then bringing them to the spoken discourse. And, this writer is trying to accurately write [transcribe] the spoken language as it is heard in the present [using only a single orthography] for the benefit of Choctaw literacy and the the diversity of the Choctaw language.

Like the previous paragraph, some of the posts seen here may only make sense to the writer, because the writer is also using this blog as a way to work through Choctaw language queries and quandaries. Therefore, your input (questions of inquisition) will be appreciated.

There is significant work being done to document the spoken language in Mississippi, for the benefit of learners, and the writer is involved in many of these tasks, daily, so the plan is to share resources with other Choctawphiles. Some of the most important resources currently available can be found in the following sections of this Choctaw Primer. Just to tempt you, here is the most up-to-date phonetic key to the modern Choctaw alphabet.

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