Language in the Americas

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Stanford University Press, 1987 - Foreign Language Study - 438 pages
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This book is concerned primarily with the evidence for the validity of a genetic unit, Amerind, embracing the vast majority of New World languages. The only languages excluded are those belonging to the Na-Dene and Eskimo- Aleut families. It examines the now widely held view that Haida, the most distant language genetically, is not to be included in Na-Dene. It confined itself to Sapir's data, although the evidence could have been buttressed considerably by the use of more recent materials. What survives is a body of evidence superior to that which could be adduced under similar restrictions for the affinity of Albanian, Celtic, and Armenian, all three universally recognized as valid members of the Indo-European family of languages. A considerable number of historical hypotheses emerge from the present and the forthcoming volumes. Of these, the most fundamental bears on the question of the peopling of the Americas. If the results presented in this volume and in the companion volume on Eurasiatic are valid, the classification of the world's languages based on genetic criteria undergoes considerable simplification.
  

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Contents

Tables
1
Unity and Bounds of Amerind
38
Maps
39
The Subgroups of Amerind
63
Amerind Etymological Dictionary
181
Grammatical Evidence for Amerind
271
The NaDene Problem
321
AlbanianArmenianCeltic Cognates and Their
328
A A Generalization of Glottochronology to n Languages
341
Recoverable Vocabulary Based on the Joos Function
342
Cognate Distributions and True Classifications
365
Distribution of the Amerind Etymologies
368
Summary of the Classification
378
Language Families of the New World
387
Index to the Amerind Etymologies
407
General Index
436

Conclusions and Overview
331

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About the author (1987)

Joseph H. Greenberg is Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics Emeritus at Stanford University. Among his many books, the most recent is "On Language: Selected Writings of Joseph H. Greenberg" (Stanford, 1990).

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