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By Lyle Campbell

Local American languages are spoken from Siberia to Greenland, and from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego; they contain the southernmost language of the area (Yaghan) and a few of the northernmost (Eskimoan). Campbell's venture is to take inventory of what's at present recognized concerning the historical past ofNative American languages and within the procedure study the nation of yank Indian ancient linguistics, and the good fortune and failure of its a number of methodologies. there's remarkably little consensus within the box, mostly a result of 1987 e-book of Language within the Americas via Joseph Greenberg. He claimed to track a ancient relation among all American Indian languages of North and South the US, implying that the majority of the Western Hemisphere wassettled by means of a unmarried wave of immigration from Asia. This has triggered excessive controversy and Campbell, as a number one student within the box, intends this quantity to be, partially, a reaction to Greenberg...

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Extra info for American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America

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Christopher Columbus Columbus had only a peripheral interest in the Native American languages he encountered; nevertheless, the earliest observations of American Indian languages are his, and some of them are useful to scholars of linguistic history. They represent the beginning of the Spanish legacy to American Indian linguistics. Columbus's early voyages yielded observations on language similarities and differences, produced loans into Spanish (many of which later found their way to other European languages), and recorded some THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN INDIAN (HISTORICAL) LINGUISTICS native vocabulary from now extinct Taino (Arawakan/Maipurean).

The enormous linguistic diversity in the Americas aroused a desire for classification, to bring the vast number of distinct languages into manageable genetic categories. As Duponceau put it: "We are arrested in the outset by the unnumbered languages and THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN INDIAN (HISTORICAL) LINGUISTICS dialects. . But philology comprehends them all, it obliges us to class and compare them with each other" (1830[1816]:74). An earnest interest in the origin of American Indian languages (see Chapter 3) was frequently linked with a desire to establish relationships between New World languages and particular Old World tongues.

Barker's (1963, 1964) Klamath, Mary R. Haas's (1946, 1950, 1953) Tunica, and Harry Hoijer's (1946b, 1949, 1972) Tonkawa. It is encouraging that good descriptive work has been recognized and found useful, though there have often been problems. Concerning treatments of Menominee based on Bloomfield's work, Kenneth Miner says that "I have yet to see one treatment that does not seriously misrepresent the facts of the language" (1979:75; see Hockett [1973] for similar opinions about some treatments of Yokuts).

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