Introduction to "Incomplete Kraho grammar" (Quain 1939)

Kraho Grammar

This incomplete grammar of the Kraho Indian language is published at this time to preserve it because notes are so easily lost. It is the work of Buell Quain who spent four months from March until August of 1939 with the Kraho tribe on the Tocantins River. Their village was 150 miles southeast of the inland town of Carolina, Maranhão, Brazil. It is known in portuguese as Cabeceira Grosso and the Kraho call it KaperKho.

The reason the work is incomplete is because of the death of Buell Quain, August 2, 1939. His notes came out of the wilderness to Columbia University, where he had been a field worker in the Department of Anthropology. During the second World War the original notes were sent to his home at Bismarck, North Dakota where they have been typed and prepared for publication.

The Quain Glossary was also incomplete. The glossary presented here contains every translated Kraho word found throughout the original notes. Some of these are different forms of the same word — One example is : hapak and japak, meaning "ear." In these the h is changed to j according to a phonetic rule given in the text.

The suggestions in parentheses and marked "F.D.Q" are translations found in other sections of the original notes.

In connection with the original phonetic charts, are references to Bloomfield as authority.

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