Front Page Titles (by Subject) (C) Page 40 On the American Languages - Democracy in America: Historical-Critical Edition, vol. 2
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(C) Page 40 On the American Languages - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America: Historical-Critical Edition, vol. 2 
Democracy in America: Historical-Critical Edition of De la démocratie en Amérique, ed. Eduardo Nolla, translated from the French by James T. Schleifer. A Bilingual French-English editions, (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2010). Vol. 2.
About Liberty Fund:
This bilingual edition of Tocqueville’s work contains a new English translation of the French critical edition published in 1990. The copyright to the French version is held by J. Vrin and it is not available online. The copyright to the English translation, the translator’s note, and index is held by Liberty Fund.
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(C) Page 40 On the American Languages
The languages spoken by the Indians of America, from the Arctic Pole to Cape Horn, are all formed, it is said, on the same model, and subject to the same grammatical rules; from that it can be concluded that, in all likelihood, all the Indian nations came from the same stock.
Each tribal band of the American continent speaks a different dialect; but the languages strictly speaking are very few in number, which would tend as well to prove that the nations of the New World do not have a very ancient origin.
Finally the languages of America are extremely regular, so it is probable that the peoples who use them have not yet been subjected to great revolutions and have not mixed with foreign nations by necessity or voluntarily; for it is in general the union of several languages into a single one that produces irregularities of grammar.
Not long ago the American languages, and in particular, the languages of North America, attracted the serious attention of philologists. It was discovered then, for the first time, that this idiom of a barbarous people was the product of a system of very complicated ideas and of very clever combinations. It was noticed that these languages were very rich and that, when forming them, great care had been taken to show consideration for the sensitivity of the ear.
The grammatical system of the Americans differs from all others on several points, but principally in this one.
Some peoples of Europe, among others the Germans, have the ability to combine different expressions as needed, and thus to give a complex meaning to certain words. The Indians have extended this ability in the most surprising way, and have succeeded in fixing so to speak at a single point a very large number of ideas. This will be easily understood with the help of an example cited by Mr. Duponceau, in the Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society.
When, he says, a Delaware woman plays with a cat or with a dog, you sometimes hear her pronounce the word kuligatschis. The word is composed in this way: K is the sign of the second person and means you or your; uli, which is pronounced ouli, is a fragment of the word wulit, which means beautiful, pretty; gat is another fragment of the word wichgat, which means paw; finally schis, which is pronounced chise, is the diminutive ending which carries with it the idea of smallness. Thus, in a single word, the Indian woman has said: Your pretty little paw.
Here is another example that shows with what felicity the savages of America know how to compose their words.
A young man in the Delaware language is called pilapé. This word is formed from pilsit, chaste, innocent; and from lénapé, man: that is to say man in his purity and his innocence.
This ability to combine words is noticeable above all in a very strange way of forming verbs. The most complicated action is often rendered by a single verb; nearly all the nuances of the idea bear upon the verb and modify it.