Chamorro Reference Grammar

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University of Hawaii Press, 1973 - Foreign Language Study - 301 pages

Chamorro Reference Grammar is a detailed description of the grammatical structure of the indigenous language of the Marian Islands. It is designed primarily as a reference work which will serve to give native speakers some insight into the complexities of their language and to encourage its use at a time when other languages are more prestigious.

The book contains an introduction to Chamorro, and its developmental history and dialectal variations, and, with a minimum of technical linguistic terms, it treats phonology, morphology, and syntax. Notes to linguists and a glossary of linguistic terms are included


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Page 6 - The important thing for modern students of Chamorro — both native speakers and other — to bear in mind is that Chamorro is not a dialect of other known language» (CHRG, pg 3). «There was wholesale borrowing of Spanish words and phrases into Chamoro, and there was even some borrowing from the Spanish sound system. But this borrowing was linguistically superficial. The bones of the Chamorro language remained intact; a little Spanish flesh was added through vocabulary borrowing, but Chamorro remained...
Page 3 - It is quite possible that these similarities in the grammatical devices were borrowed from Filipinos with whom the Chamorros traded. However, this is very unlikely. Speakers of one language often borrow words from another language, but very seldom, if ever, do they borrow grammatical features.
Page 4 - Spanish times to an estimated 3,678 speakers (Thompson 1947:57), the language survived. In spite of intensive efforts by Spanish and American administrative authorities to "stamp out" Chamorro, the language survived. In spite of the current "Americanization" of the Marianas, complete with mass communications and education in English, the language is still surviving. I, for one, hope that it will continue to survive.

About the author (1973)

Donald M. Topping is professor of linguistics and director of the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Hawaii. He conducted research on Chamorro in the Mariana Islands, and served as consultant to the Chamorro Bilingual Education projects on Guam and Rota. Dr. Topping is also the author of Chamorro Reference Grammar, and Spoken Chamorro.