Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John C. Crawford


This thesis offers a transcription and translation of a Michif narrative. Michif is a hybrid language consisting of French noun phrases and Cree verb structures. After the translation of the text, a structural analysis of the text is given based on textual analysis techniques proposed by Roger Schank and Robert Abelson (1977) and Ellen Prince (1979).

The Michif narrative was elicited from a resident of San Clara, Manitoba, Canada, and was transcribed with the help of native Michif speakers involved with the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota. The concept of the script, a stereotypic chain of events culturally defined, is explained (Schank and Abelson (1977). A brief scriptal sketch of the narrative is provided, which shows how scripts connect into larger discourse structures called goal-spans. Then, a method devised by Ellen Prince (1979) for analyzing the distribution of new and given information in a text is explained, followed by classification of the noun phrases in the Whiskey Jack narrative based on Prince's system. Finally, a proposal of how scripts affect the introduction of new information in a text is discussed briefly.

The conclusions made are that scripts do indeed affect the introduction of new information in a Michif text in that they allow new bits of information to be introduced as if they were not totally new because of the contextual familiarity produced by scripts. Scripts further aid the text by providing structure, connectivity, and coherence.

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