Instruction sur la langue Mickmaque

Mss.497.2.In75

Date: Circa 1814 | Size: 0.1 Linear feet, 98 p.

Abstract

From 1735 to 1762, Antoine-Simon Maillard (d.1762) was a Catholic missionary to the Micmac Indians at Restigouche on the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec. Abbé Maillard was the first Frenchman to master the Micmac language, and he collected extensive grammatical and linguistic notes which were edited, arranged, and published by Rev. Joseph M. Bellenger in the 19th century.

The "Instructions sue la langue Mickmaque" is a French-language instructional manual on the grammar of the Micmac language, probably compiled by Rev. Joseph M. Bellenger, ca.1814. The manuscript (identified as Phillips 12343) is based on the grammar of Abbé Maillard, and is arranged on a Latin model. It includes general comments on the structure of the language, orthography, nouns, pronouns, and numerals, with more extensive commentary on verb conjugation. The manuscript appears to be incomplete, ending with the section heading "Verbes réciproque."

Background note

The easternmost of the Algonquian nations, the Micmac Indians originally inhabited a territory that extended over much of modern Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton, and including parts of New Brunswick, Quebec, Newfoundland, and eastern Maine. Among the first nations to have contact with Europeans, they became the target of Jesuit, Recollect, and Capuchin missionaries as early as 1610, when Chief Membertou became the first American Indian baptized into the Catholic Church.

During the 1640s, the Recollect Fathers established a mission at Restigouche, Quebec, on the Gaspé Peninsula, which remained active even after political control of the region passed from French into British hands, thanks in large part to the efforts of Antoine-Simon Maillard (d.1762). Having spent 27 years as a missionary in Canada, the Abbé Maillard was the first Frenchman to master the Micmac language and he collected extensive grammatical and linguistic notes which were edited, arranged, and published by Rev. Joseph M. Bellenger in the 19th century.

Scope and content

The "Instructions sue la langue Mickmaque" is a French-language instructional manual on the grammar of the Micmac language, probably compiled by Rev. Joseph M. Bellenger, ca.1814. The manuscript (identified as Phillips 12343) is based on the grammar of Abbé Antoine Simon Maillard, and is arranged on a Latin model. It includes general comments on the structure of the language, orthography, nouns, pronouns, and numerals, with more extensive commentary on verb conjugation. The manuscript appears to be incomplete, ending with the section heading "Verbes réciproque."

Pilling cites a note from Bellnger as follows: "J'ai travaillé jusqu'ici sur un cahier de M. M. [Maillard]. Comme son cahier ne va plus loin, j'arrête mes notes grammaticales"

Collection Information

Provenance

Acquired June 1, 1951 through the Phillips Fund.

Preferred citation

Cite as: Joseph M. Bellenger (?), Instruction sur la langue Mickmaque, American Philosophical Society.

Processing information

Recatalogued by rsc, 2002.

Other finding aids

The manuscript is indexed in the online Daythal Kendall Guide to Native American Collections at the American Philosophical Society.

Related material

Additional Micmac language material is indexed in the online Daythal Kendall Guide to Native American Collections at the American Philosophical Society (nos. 94 and 2242).

An additional Micmac manuscript attributed to Maillard/Bellenger are located in the library of the Archevêché de Québec. See APS microfilm 453.

Bibliography

Pilling, James Constantine, Bibliography of the Algonquian Languages (Washington, D.C., 1891). Call no.: 016.497 P64ba. See Bellenger, Maillard

Early American History Note

This collection contains notes on the language of the Mickmaque. Originally taken by a French missionary in the eighteenth century, this 98 page volume is a compilation of notes on the language put together in the nineteenth century.

Indexing Terms


Personal Name(s)

  • Bellenger, Joseph-Marie, 1788-1856
  • Maillard, Antoine Simon, d.176

Subject(s)

  • Linguistics
  • Micmac language -- Grammar