This subseries of the Notes and writings on special linguistic studies series contains contains Harrington's research on the Arabic origins of Spanish words.
The major part of this series consists of an extensive dictionary of New Mexican and California Spanish terms with suggested Arabic etymologies. The data for this file were collected through a combination of correspondence and interviews and were compiled between 1927 and 1930. At the end of the dictionary is a separate file in a similar format covering tribal names, geographic names, and family names. His two major linguistic informants were Edward Cata and Lucrecia Garcia. The dictionary also includes large blocks of information from botanist Paul C. Standley of the National Herbarium as well as contributions from Truman Michelson, Paul Vogenitz, Mr. Blackburn, Major E. A. Goldman, Mr. P. G. Redington, and a few others.
Records relating to Moroccan Arabic pertain to the field trip which Mrs. Leonora S. Curtin and Miss Leonora F. Curtin made to Morocco in the spring and summer of 1931. These materials include notes which Harrington made in March 1931 prior to the Curtins's trip, miscellaneous notes and sketches collected by the Curtins during their travels (including names and addresses of potential informants in the United States), and two pages of notes on phonetics which L. F. Curtin wrote in September after their return. The bulk of the files consists of an alphabetically arranged "looseleaf" file of some 300 Spanish words of Arabic origin. Prior to the Curtins's trip, Harrington typed each entry onto a blank sheet of paper. He usually provided the classical Egyptian, Syrian, or Arabic forms and added specific questions regarding the use of the word in Morocco. Some of these entries are immediately followed by handwritten suggestions of objects to collect or photographs to take; these were possibly added by James Hovey who acted as Harrington's field assistant from March to July 1931. The Curtins added their notes to the pages. A few sketches are interfiled. At some unspecified time after the Curtins's return, Harrington evidently met with them to examine their field data and to listen to wax cylinder recordings which they had made. He appended his notes of discussions with Leonora F. Curtin to many of the loose leaf sheets and also prepared twenty-seven separate pages of general observations from his conversations with both women.
Other materials in the subseries include data that Harrington collected from a number of speakers of Syrian Arabic in 1943; notes and drafts for his papers, including a manuscript on Moroccan ethnobotany; and extracts from a number of secondary sources on Spanish which were compiled between 1940 and 1947 for use as questionnaires with Harrington's Arabic informants. Harrington's files also contain several miscellaneous items relating to the study of Arabic. There is a flier for a lecture series given by Edgar L. Hewett at the San Diego Museum in 1927 and a poster for a lecture given at Oxford University in 1931. Also included are two issues of the Federation Herald from 1943. The April 1 issue features a front page article by Lucy Embury, "Arabs' Gift to Uncle Sam: Relics of Moors in California." The May 8 issue contains a request by Harrington for West Syrian informants.
Biographical / Historical:
During several phases of his career John P. Harrington investigated the Arabic origin of words in the Spanish dialects of the American Southwest and California. Over a period of twenty years (from 1927 to 1947) he collaborated with numerous individuals throughout the United States and in Europe and Africa and even had access to data collected by associates on a fieldtrip to Morocco. This study resulted in the creation of a Spanish-Arabic dictionary and related notes, files on Moroccan ethnobotany, and drafts of five papers, none of which reached publication.
In each of the drafts of his early writings on Arabic, Harrington cited factors which contributed to his interest in this field of study. In his first paper, drafted in 1927, he claimed that it was his friend Edgar L. Hewett's "enthusiasm for and frequent visits to Morocco that first drew [his] attention to the study of Moorish words in New Mexican Spanish." In a related article, Harrington stated that he had begun compiling an ethnological dictionary of New Mexican Spanish "in connection with and imitation of a similar work . . . on the California dialect of Spanish" which he had assembled a number of years before. In a third manuscript, dated 1928, he credited Barbara Freire-Marreco with sparking his interest in the study as early as 1909 during their joint work on Tewa.
John Peabody Harrington papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The preferred citation for the Harrington Papers will reference the actual location within the collection, i.e. Box 172, Alaska/Northwest Coast, Papers of John Peabody Harrington, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
However, as the NAA understands the need to cite phrases or vocabulary on specific pages, a citation referencing the microfilmed papers is acceptable. Please note that the page numbering of the PDF version of the Harrington microfilm does not directly correlate to the analog microfilm frame numbers. If it is necessary to cite the microfilmed papers, please refer to the specific page number of the PDF version, as in: Papers of John Peabody Harrington, Microfilm: MF 7, R34 page 42.