The Languages of Native North America

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Jun 7, 2001 - Foreign Language Study - 773 pages
2 Reviews
This book provides an authoritative survey of the several hundred languages indigenous to North America. These languages show tremendous genetic and typological diversity, and offer numerous challenges to current linguistic theory. Part I of the book provides an overview of structural features of particular interest, concentrating on those that are cross-linguistically unusual or unusually well developed. These include syllable structure, vowel and consonant harmony, tone, and sound symbolism; polysynthesis, the nature of roots and affixes, incorporation, and morpheme order; case; grammatical distinctions of number, gender, shape, control, location, means, manner, time, empathy, and evidence; and distinctions between nouns and verbs, predicates and arguments, and simple and complex sentences; and special speech styles. Part II catalogues the languages by family, listing the location of each language, its genetic affiliation, number of speakers, major published literature, and structural highlights. Finally, there is a catalogue of languages that have evolved in contact situations.
 

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Review: The Languages of Native North America

User Review  - Joseph - Goodreads

Interlibrary loan only gave me 2 weeks to read this hefty tome. So I only got through 370 pages. It is nevertheless a very comprehensive description of the typological and genetic diversity of the ... Read full review

Review: The Languages of Native North America

User Review  - graham - Goodreads

This book is amazing. The most comprehensive book on the subject I've found. Read full review

Contents

VII
15
IX
20
X
22
XI
24
XII
26
XIII
31
XIV
34
XV
37
XXXII
204
XXXIII
230
XXXIV
244
XXXV
249
XXXVI
260
XXXVII
272
XXXIX
276
XL
281

XVI
38
XVII
39
XVIII
56
XIX
68
XX
69
XXI
79
XXII
95
XXIII
104
XXIV
118
XXV
127
XXVI
132
XXVII
152
XXVIII
170
XXIX
187
XXXI
194
XLI
289
XLII
292
XLIII
295
XLIV
297
XLV
298
XLVI
300
XLVII
301
XLVIII
311
XLIX
326
LI
587
LII
617
LIII
746
LIV
751
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Page 7 - European languages, but by interweaving together the most significant sounds or syllables of each simple word, so as to form a compound that will awaken in the mind at once all the ideas singly expressed by the words from which they are taken.
Page 8 - By an analogous combination [of] the various parts of speech, particularly by means of the verb, so that its various forms and inflections will express not only the principal action, but the greatest possible number of the moral ideas and physical objects connected with it, and will combine itself to the greatest extent with those...
Page 9 - Sanskrit sandhi variation -t: -d. Individual variations and such conditional variations as we have discussed once cleared out of the way, we arrive at the genuine pattern of speech sounds. After what we have said, it almost goes without saying that two languages, A and B, may have identical sounds but utterly distinct phonetic patterns; or they may have mutually incompatible phonetic systems, from the articulatory and acoustic standpoint, but identical or similar patterns. The following...
Page 9 - Judging the importance of linguistic studies from this point of view, it seems well worth while to subject the whole range of linguistic concepts to a searching analysis, and to seek in the peculiarities of the grouping of ideas in different languages an important characteristic in the history of the mental development of the various branches of mankind. From this point of view, the occurrence of the most fundamental grammatical concepts in all languages must be considered as proof of the unity of...
Page 9 - We see this complex process of the interaction of language and thought actually taking place under our eyes. The instrument makes possible the product, the product refines the instrument. The birth of a new concept is invariably foreshadowed by a more or less strained or extended use of old linguistic material; the concept does not attain to individual and independent life until it has found a distinctive linguistic embodiment.

References to this book

Tone
Moira Yip
Limited preview - 2002
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About the author (2001)

Marianne Mithun is Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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