Linguistic Research of Don Frantz     
       Link to a list of my Publications

Blackfoot Research

Most of my research over the past 45 years has involved linguistic analysis of the Blackfoot language. (go to  Blackfoot )

This included analysis of the sound system and design of an alphabetic writing system based on that (phonemic) analysis.

Grammar analysis concentrated on describing word formation, which is much more complicated than that of most languages. Most significant here is the fact that verbs are made up of parts that carry meanings usually carried by separate words in English. For example, "I will not be able to try to go to find you" would be expressed by one word in Blackfoot (kimátaakohkottsssáakotoohkoonoohpa). And of course the inflectional system of verbs and nouns required extensive periods of analysis. See my Blackfoot Grammar (see Publications for the reference). A second edition of the grammar is currently in press, and shoul dbe available by January 2010.

With the help of an initial startup grant from the Muttart Foundation, and funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for the years 1982 - 1990, former student Norma Russell and I put together the Blackfoot Dictionary, which was published in 1989 by University of Toronto Press (see Publications). A second edition was published in 1995, and I am currently making revisions and additions for a possible third edition.

Southern Tiwa Research

From time to time I have worked with the Southern Tiwa language, spoken at a pueblo south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. My first exposure to the language was as a linguistic consultant for two women (Barbara Allen and Donna Gardiner) who were assigned to do Bible translation in the language. Together, we published a number of papers. Some of the grammatical phenomena we described are very unusual, and have stimulated interest on the part of many linguists whose main area of research is linguistic theory. Allen and Gardiner had begun a collection of texts in the language and had a good start on a dictionary. I have continued to work on these items from time to time, and have a nearly completed grammatical sketch of the language. I am happy if I can share material with people of the pueblo or other groups whose languages are closely related to Southern Tiwa. Contact me at; [Remove NOSPAM from address if pasting])

Other languages

As will be evident from a quick scan of the list of my Publications, I have done research on other native languages of North America, and languages in Peru and Cameroon. I have also done analysis and description of  languages in Nigeria, but this work is as yet unpublished.