The Arctic Prairies By Ernest Thompson Seton

 -  This additional
variant makes it hopeless to suggest on paper any approach to their
peculiar speech.

The Jesuits tell me - Page 120
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This Additional Variant Makes It Hopeless To Suggest On Paper Any Approach To Their Peculiar Speech.

The Jesuits tell me that it was more clicked and guttural fifty years ago, but that they are successfully weeding out many of the more unpleasant catarrhal sounds.

In noting down the names of animals, I was struck by the fact that the more familiar the animal the shorter its name. Thus the Beaver, Muskrat, Rabbit, and Marten, on which they live, are respectively Tsa, Dthen, Ka, and Tha. The less familiar (in a daily sense) Red Fox and Weasel are Nak-ee-they, Noon-dee-a, Tel-ky-lay; and the comparatively scarce Musk-ox and little Weasel, At-huh-le-jer-ray and Tel-ky-lay-azzy. All of which is clear and logical, for the name originally is a description, but the softer parts and sharp angles are worn down by the attrition of use - the more use they have for a word the shorter it is bound to get. In this connection it is significant that "to-day" is To-ho-chin-nay, and "to-morrow" Kom-pay.

The Chipewyan teepee is very distinctive; fifty years ago all were of caribou leather, now most are of cotton; not for lack of caribou, but because the cotton does not need continual watching to save it from the dogs. Of the fifty teepees at Fort Chipewyan, one or two only were of caribou but many had caribou-skin tops, as these are less likely to bum than those of cotton.

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