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La «langue esquimaude» du Labrador: Les missionnaires moraves et la description de l'inuttut 1733-1891

The "Eskimo language" of Labrador: Moravian missionaries and the description of Labrador Inuttut 1733 - 1891
Pages: 173 - 197
Auteur(s) / Author(s): Elke Nowak
Résumé:

En 1733, la congrégation morave établit une mission au Groenland. Au cours des années, les missionnaires écrivirent de nombreuses «grammaires» et compilèrent des dictionnaires. La parenté culturelle et linguistique entre Inuit du Groenland et du Labrador n'échappa pas aux moraves. Lors de la fondation de la première mission du Labrador, en 1771, les missionnaires apportèrent avec eux une grammaire et un dictionnaire du groenlandais. Par la suite, la grammaire fut plusieurs fois «traduite» en esquimau, et ce n'est qu'en 1864 que fut publié le premier dictionnaire de l'inuttut du Labrador. Cet article examine les descriptions linguistiques assez singulières des moraves, ainsi que l'influence qu'elles ont eue sur l'orthographe et la représentation grammaticale de l'inuttut.

Abstract:

In 1733 the Moravian Society established a mission station in Greenland. Over the years a number of what might be called "grammars" were written, and dictionaries were compiled. The fact that Greenlanders and Labradorians are akin and that their languages are closely related did not escape the attention of the missionaries. When the first mission station in Labrador was established in 1771, the founding missionaries brought with them a grammar and a dictionary of Greenlandic. In the following years this grammar of Greenlandic was "translated" into Eskimo several times, and it was only in 1864 that the first Labrador dictionary was printed. It took another thirty years for the first grammar of Labrador Inuttut to be published. This paper examines the Moravians' rather peculiar linguistic descriptions and their influence on the orthography and grammatical representation of Inuttut.