Cree admixture in the verbal morphology of Island Lake Ojibwa

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Shrofel, Salina Margaret,
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The Island Lake District, approximately 290 miles northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (See Figure I), is composed of four communities: Garden Hill, Wasagamack and St. Theresa Point, situated on the shores of Island Lake; Red Sucker Lake, situated approximately 45 miles north of Island Lake (See Figure I). The Island Lake District, on-reserve population distribution as of April, 1976 is shown in Table I. (Table I figures were received from the Department of Indian Affairs, Winnipeg.)... Although the Government of Canada lists the Island Lake District as being composed of Cree-speaking peoples, many sources and many Island Lake residents disagree, preferring to refer to the language spoken in the district as a mixture of Cree and Ojibwa... When pressed to apply a label to their language, a majority of residents of the district prefer to use the term Cree. Other terms such as Saulteaux [Ojibwa], Saulteaux-Cree, Cree-Saulteaux and Island Lake Language are also used in this context. Whatever term is chosen by a resident to refer to his language, it is carefully distinguished so as to apply to the Island Lake language only. The residents do not confuse their language with that spoken at Norway House, Oxford House or at other surrounding communities. Wolfart (1973a) reports that communication between Island Lake residents and other Cree and Ojibwa speakers appears to be impaired. This statement is confirmed by dialect testing results of the Summer Institute of Linguistics as cited by Wolfart (1973a: 1307) and by treaty... Wolfart has clearly shown that on the phonological level, at least, the Island Lake language is Ojibwa with an admixture of Cree. He deals briefly with the morphological level claiming that the evidence "points clearly in the direction of Ojibwa" (Wolfart, 1973a: 1317) and states that there is probably some Cree interference. The purpose of this study is to analyze the verb morphology of the Island Lake language to determine the details and extent of Cree interference...