Seejiq Abstract.

The Seejiq (called Seediq in Wikipedia) are a Taiwanese aboriginal people who speak an Austronesian language; I learned about them from Scott Simon’s article “Real People, Real Dogs, and Pigs for the Ancestors: The Moral Universe of ‘Domestication’ in Indigenous Taiwan,” forthcoming in American Anthropologist — or rather from the abstract, which is at the link. Why am I mentioning it here? Because the abstract is repeated in Seejiq (“Pnegluban seejiq ni kana samat o saw bi tkrakaw sun imi ‘nguciq,’ aji asaw quri pnegluban quri kmlawa ka nii…”), which I think is such a terrific idea I wanted to post about it. And don’t bother talking to me about practicality, because I don’t give a damn.

Comments

  1. Greg Pandatshang says:

    I wonder how impractical it really is. If the paper is not about a particular language, then this model isn’t really applicable any way. If it is about a particular language, then the author will often have put a lot of effort into studying that language. I have no idea how difficult most people would find it to compose a couple paragraphs in the target language at that point. Also, the author might have L1 contacts who can do a translation.

  2. This used to be quite common practice in the USSR, even for the smallest languages.

    For example, my copy of Nanai-Russian dictionary (Nanai-Locha Hesenkuni) published by “Locha Heseni” Publishers in Moscow has 5 page foreword in Nanai.

    Nanai is quite small language by all standards, author mentions in the foreword says that “SSSR-du bi nanaisal egdilechi 10,5 mingan nai”.

    Of course, it is a dictionary and presumably it is intended for use of native Nanai speakers, so translating foreword in its entirety into Nanai makes sense.

    And also, judging from his name, the author – Sulungu Nikolayevich Onenko – was apparently ethnic Nanai as well.

    I do wonder though how and why he got an Ukrainian surname….

  3. According to Russian Wikipedia, its a Nanaisky name: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Оненко

    A google search gets a lot of results with Khabarovsk which fits.

  4. Ксёнѕ Фаўст says:

    I do wonder though how and why he got an Ukrainian surname….

    When one looks up the demographics of various parts of ex-USSR, virtually everywhere there seem to be 2-4% of Ukrainians, from Estonia to Kamchatka. I guess there was a lot of migration for jobs, also fleeing from war and hunger, plus certainly forcible relocation. Let’s not forget Siberia was conquered with Cossack hands.

  5. It turns out that Onenko is indeed a Nanai surname, a Russified (or rather Ukrainized) form of native Nanai term Oninka (people from Oni river – also known as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anyuy_River_(Khabarovsk_Krai) )

    Perhaps, the Russian official who first registered the surname Oninka simply spelled it like the more familiar Ukrainian surname (from Onisii, Ukrainian variant of Anysius – name of 5th century Greek saint http://orthodoxwiki.org/Anysius_of_Thessalonica ) .

  6. You can see little spots of Ukrainian all over the place on this ethnic map from 1941. (Pardon the suspicious absence of Poles in the Kresy.)

  7. It turns out that Onenko is indeed a Nanai surname – a Russified (or rather Ukrainized) form of native Nanai term Oninka (people from Oni or Anyuy_River(Khabarovsk_Krai))

    Perhaps, the Russian official who first registered the surname Oninka simply spelled it like the more familiar Ukrainian surname (from Onisii, Ukrainian variant of Anysius – name of 5th century Greek saint Anysius of Thessalonica) .

  8. Ксёнѕ Фаўст says:

    (Pardon the suspicious absence of Poles in the Kresy.)

    Their presence on the map would undermine the validity of the Soviet ‘liberation of western Ukraine and Belarus’ two years earlier, wouldn’t it? I think there’s an inscription Поляки near Białystok but it’s not differentiated with a color (as if Поляки were a subgroup of Belarusians). Apart from the Ukrainian ‘islands’ there is other interesting stuff going on, e.g. Latgalians as an ethnicity separate from Latvians, a large German pocket remains on the Volga and smaller ones in the Ukrainian SSR (alongside Greeks and Bulgarians), Belarusians on the Tavda (Irtyš basin). Even some actual Евреи are marked near Birobidžan.

  9. I’m with Greg. Abstracts are short, so it’s not like duplicating an entire paper. In this day of computer fonts for every existing (and imagined) writing system, typesetting is not much of a barrier. Also, it gives the interested reader a block of text in the language to look at and puzzle over, which I’d think would increase reader interest.

  10. Nice to see babuy in the abstract, in there just being the Proto-Austronesian protoform, as my teacher Cal Watkins might have phrased it.

  11. I notice that in Seejiq Truku, the name of the Seejiq Truku seems to be just Truku while seejiq is a common noun meaning humans/people. Anybody know why they aren’t just called Truku in English too?

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