American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of by Lyle Campbell

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 the moment recognized concerning the historical past ofNative American languages and within the approach learn the country of yankee Indian old linguistics, and the luck and failure of its numerous methodologies. there's remarkably little consensus within the box, principally as a result of 1987 book of Language within the Americas via Joseph Greenberg. He claimed to track a old relation among all American Indian languages of North and South the US, implying that almost all of the Western Hemisphere wassettled via a unmarried wave of immigration from Asia. This has prompted extreme controversy and Campbell, as a number one pupil within the box, intends this quantity to be, partially, a reaction to Greenberg...

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With a few noteworthy exceptions, philology as an abstract science has found little serious following in the New World" (1913:389-90). 5 Greenberg's view of American Indian linguistic history is similar, but seemingly less generous: "There exists among American Indianists and in general in linguistics no coherent theory regarding the genetic classification of languages" (in press). The historical record shows clearly that this is not true—neither of American Indian linguistics nor of linguistics in general (see Poser and Campbell 1992).

In particular, there are sections on sound change and on classifications in South America. This means that some important recurrent themes are not explicated in a single location in the narrative but are revealed as the history of individuals' contributions unfolds. Such topics include the relative weights given to lexical and grammatical evidence for genetic relationship, conflicts in the interpretation of similarities as being shared as a result of either inheritance from a common ancestor or diffusion, and allegiances to "psychological" or "comparative/historical" outlooks.

Carib Pidgin-Arawak Mixed Language Taylor and Hoff (1980) argue that a mixed language involving Carib Pidgin and Arawak is the ancestor of the Island Carib men's language, basically an Arawakan language with a special men's jargon based on Carib lexical items. ' "A few remnants of the male register" (Hoff 1994:161) are also preserved in Garifuna (Black Carib) of Central America, whose speakers are descendants of Island Caribs who were deported from Saint Vincent in 1797 (see Chapters 4 and 5), though most to the men's language is now lost.

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