This project will result in the first published comprehensive dictionary of the Penobscot language. Like other Algonquian languages, Penobscot exhibits a linguistically interesting mix of strongly head-marking polysynthetic morphology, obviation and inverse person marking, nominal tense, grammaticalized evidentiality, and a noun class system centered on semantically-based but grammatically formalized animacy (Siebert 1980). Penobscot is particularly important for historical reconstruction of the Algonquian family, being distinctly conservative among the northeastern Eastern Algonquian languages—most strikingly in maintaining final vowels (along with many word-internal weak vowels) lost or rendered less transparently accessible in otherwise well-documented neighbors such as Passamaquoddy-Maliseet and Mi'kmaw.


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