Cover image for Onondaga-English/English-Onondaga dictionary
Onondaga-English/English-Onondaga dictionary
Woodbury, Hanni.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, [2003]
Physical Description:
x, 1563 pages ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PM2076.Z5 W66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference

On Order



Onondaga is an Iroquoian language spoken at the Six Nations Reserve, near Brantford, Ontario, and at Onondaga Nation, near Syracuse, New York. Once spoken by a large Iroquoian population in New York State, Onondaga is now spoken by only a small number of individuals. This comprehensive dictionary - the first of its kind - provides an invaluable tool for the teaching and preservation of the Onondaga language.

The Onondaga-English/English-Onondaga Dictionary is the result of Hanni Woodbury's thirty years of research conducted with contemporary speakers and her study of nineteenth- and twentieth-century textual sources. The dictionary provides meanings and inflections for each lexical base, as well as cross-references for related bases and additional grammatical, phonological, historical, and cultural information. The appendices, organized under the headings 'Nature,' 'People,' and 'Household and Community,' include lists of words that play an important role in daily life. This much-needed resource will be invaluable to ongoing efforts to sustain this endangered language.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Although Onondaga is spoken by few people today, the importance of this dictionary goes well beyond the needs of current speakers who live near Syracuse (NY) or Brantford (Ont.). The result of more than 30 years of independent research, this is a comprehensive resource for one of the Iroquoian family of languages. Entries in part 1 (Onondaga-English) are organized by lexical base, printed in boldface. They are followed by an English gloss, examples of words using the base, example phrases, and cross-references to related entries. Extensive field notes provide the bulk of example phrases. Dialectical differences between speakers at Onondaga Nation (NY) and Six Nations Reserve (Ont.) are carefully documented. The orthography employed was developed with the endorsement of both communities. The primary point of entry for most scholars and students will be the English-Onondaga section, which offers meanings in English and Onondaga as well as a complete list of examples from part 1. Appendixes, organized thematically, list words that play important roles in daily life. Linguists, anthropologists, other social scientists, speakers, and those interested in the Onondaga language will find this a valuable resource. Previous English dictionaries of Onondaga are largely translations from the 19th century, themselves based on earlier manuscripts. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and higher. R. Hanson formerly, Muskingum College