OLAC Record

Title:conversation about words and songs
Making Wichita Accessible: A Multimedia Archive of Data and Analyses
David S. Rood and Armik Mirzayan
Contributor (annotator):Rood
Coverage:United States
Description:Speakers of Wichita were gathered for a meal and a chance to "talk Wichita" with each other for about two hours. This session records relevant extracts from the second hour, in which the linguist and six speakers (one of whom, Pearl, arrived as we were changing tapes and one of whom, Dru, arrives in the middle of this session) discuss song texts and individual words. Because this is a continuation of the "Faces" session, there is no introduction. The beginning and end of the session are discussions of words or events, with English and Wichita mixed. In the middle, some songs are performed, but normally neither the singer nor the rest of the group can fully interpret the text -- either words are not recognized because of distortions to fit the music, or they are simply not known. The original video has been severely edited to take out parts of the conversation held exclusively in English.
The project is to videotape the last speakers of Wichita talking in and about their language, history over the last century, and culture. Videotapes were made in the summers of 2002 and 2003 in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
This file was generated from an IMDI 1.9 file and transformed to IMDI 3.0. The substructure of Genre is replaced by two elements named "Genre" and "SubGenre". The original content of Genre substructure was: Interactional = 'conversation, songs', Discursive = 'conversation', Performance = 'individual words, short narratives, songs'. These values have been added as Keys to the Content information.
Most of the discussion in this second hour revolves around attempts to recall children's songs and lullabys and sing them. Because Wichita words are often distorted to make them fit the music, there are words which no one can understand in these performances. Before and after the songs, , there is some general conversation that includes an occasional word or phrase in Wichita. This video has been edited to elminate discussions in English without any Wichita language content. Toward the end, there are some Wichita Christian songs, also not completely interpretable by this group. Some conversation as the group breaks up has also been included, though there is so much overlap that it is hard to transcribe it accurately.
Six Wichita speakers (Doris, Shirley, Vivian, Tiny, Pearl and Dru), the linguist, and the tribal President, Gary McAdams, exchange information in an open, unstructured conversation. All of these people except the linguist have lived near each other most of their lives, and shared many childhood and young adult experiences.
Tiny is the daughter of the first speaker that Rood ever worked with, Frank Miller. Her parents were both fluent speakers, but discouraged their children from learning it. She spent time with her grandmother, and learned to understand her parents, but she has not used the language much as an adult. This session was Rood's first acquaintance with her.
Gary is the President of the tribe, and has done much to foster language preservation and revival. He has learned to speak Wichita as an adult and does not participate much in these discussions.
Vivian has spoken both Wichita and English in her adult life. She had a stroke a few years ago, but seems to have recovered from it very well. She does not speak very clearly in the videotapes, but she is able to say almost anything she wants to in Wichita if the environment is right.
Doris is the most fluent speaker in the group, and the most willing to speak. She was raised by grandparents and in her youth used Wichita for all communication around the home. In recent years she has been the primary resource person for the tribe's language classes.
Rood is the linguist on the project. He has been working with Wichita since about 1967.
Shirley has not spoken the language much in her adult life, though she can often recall things that her parents and grandparents said, and she understands a lot.
Pearl claims to be one of the two oldest living Wichitas. She spoke the language extensively as a child and young adult, but was married to a Caddo man and did not use the language with her own children. She is not able to say much in Wichita, but her memories of local history and of traditional culture are vivid and detailed, and she often dominates the conversation with them, though only in English. She performs some songs very competently, although protesting that surgery some years ago damaged her throat.
Dru has spoken the language all her life. She is an active participant in the Native American Church, and uses Wichita for prayers during their services. She is willing to try to say things in Wichita when no one else will. She occasionally makes grammar mistakes, such as an error in aspect choice or verb conjugation type, but these do not hinder comprehension of her intended message.
The senior collector is a linguist at the University of Colorado who has been studying Wichita since 1967. His assistant is a graduate student in linguistics. On the videotape, Rood is frequently heard prompting for additional information. Mirzayan operated the camera and controlled the recording devices.
Vivian explains a word for two men married to sisters.
Pearl talks about an old man, and Vivian tells a funny story about him.
Various people uttering a word or two each.
Vivian lists some lullaby characters, others offer songs and musings about them.
Pearl and Vivian continue to discuss songs.
Tiny sings about the baby rabbit who drank plum juice and couldn't stand up any more.
Silence between Tiny's two songs.
Tiny sings a "church song", but says afterwards that she didn't do it quite right, and doesn't know all the words.
Introduction to the "baby turtle" song.
Performance and interpretation of the "baby turtle" song by Pearl and Vivian.
Shirley and Doris talk about Doris's (lack of) singing knowledge.
Pearl tells story about Rabbit tricking Coyote, ending with a song that is just vocables. Despite David's urging, Pearl does not switch to Wichita during the story.
Tiny sings her father's favorite church song, but is unable to interpret it.
Discussion of a meeting time for the next get-together; Doris translates David's comments into Wichita for Vivian.
Discussion of how to say 'we are going to get together again.'; group rejects Doris's suggestion.
Correction in 'we are going to get together again' and acceptance.
Gary comments in English on the absence of a couple of other people.
Vivian whispers a comment in Wichita about the reliability of people.
Vivian comments in Wichita that no one would come if she were doing the cooking.
Doris tells what she will fix for the food for next time.
Doris tells Shirley, "you're going to help me".
Pearl's introduction to what Doris says next.
Doris repeats a summary of what Shirley told us earlier in the evening, before Pearl arrived.
Pearl's introduction to what comes next.
Discussion of names for days of the week.
Pearl tells how she would describe people of good or bad personal character in Wichita. This is overlapped by discussion in English of some pictures Dru has of a trip to see the giant redwoods.
David thanks the group and invites them back for the next meeting.
Publisher:David S. Rood
University of Colorado; Volkswagen Foundation
Subject:English language
Wichita language
Subject (ISO639):eng


Archive:  The Language Archive at the MPI for Psycholinguistics
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/www.mpi.nl
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for OLAC format
GetRecord:  Pre-generated XML file

OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:www.mpi.nl:1839_00-0000-0000-0001-487B-0
DateStamp:  2017-02-14
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: Tiny; Gary; Vivian; Doris; David; Shirley; Pearl; Dru; David S. Rood and Armik Mirzayan; Rood (annotator). 2002-07-15. David S. Rood.
Terms: area_Americas area_Europe country_GB country_US iso639_eng iso639_wic

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomUnited States
Area: AmericasEurope

Up-to-date as of: Wed Apr 12 6:44:05 EDT 2017