Post by Adam Funk Post by firstname.lastname@example.org Post by Dingbat
Does this language have a recursive name?
Onondaga Nation Language (Onoñdaʔgegáʔ nigaweñoʔdeñʔ
(IPA: [onũdaʔɡeɡáʔ niɡawẽnoʔdẽʔ], literally "Onondaga is our language")
is the language of the Onondaga First Nation, one of the original five
constituent tribes of the League of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee).
A feature of Onondaga as well as other Iroquoian languages is that
words translating nouns are often analyzable as having sentence-like
structure. The translation suggests that the second word above means
something like "it's our language", or maybe even "we-habitually-speak-it".
I wouldn't call this recursion, though.
Don't think so. If my guessing is right, the first word doesn't explicitly
say anything about language. In the closely related Seneca language
ʔonɔ́taʔkeh 'on the hill, Onondaga reservation'
and with the 'characteristic' suffix:
ʔonɔ́taʔke:-ka:ʔ 'the Onondaga, lit. characterized by
being on the hill'
(Chafe, Seneca Morphology and Dictionary, 1967)
So if I can try some more speculative paraphrasing, maybe:
(Confession: I actually worked on this language, briefly, when
I was a student. But that was 50 years ago; it would take a while
to dig out my notes, and there might not be anything useful on
this particular expression. Hence the speculation and reasoning
from collateral sources.)