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 frantzNOSPAM@uleth.ca; [Remove NOSPAM from address if pasting])
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.