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Vol. 38, no. 1 (Spring 1996)



Sapir's Classifications: Coahuiltecan Alexis Manaster Ramer 1
Reconstructing Initial Change in Algonquian David J. Costa 39
Areal Diffusion in Northwest Amazonia: The Case of Tariana Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald 73
Topic and Focus in Sundanese Franz Müller-Gotama 117

Review Essay

Situated Meaning: Inside and Outside in Japanese Self, Society, and Language (Jane M. Bachnik and Charles J. Quinn, Jr., editors) Yoshihiro Nishimitsu 133

Book Reviews

Siberian Yupik Eskimo: The Language and Its Contacts with Chukchi (Willem Joseph de Reuse) Bernard Comrie 145
Chickasaw: An Analytical Dictionary (Pamela Munro and Catherine Willmond) Karen M. Booker 147
Native Middle American Linguistics: An Areal-Typological Perspective (Yoshiho Yasugi) Catherine Bereznak 149
Chipping Away on Earth: Studies in Prehispanic and Colonial Mexico in Honor of Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Eloise Quiñones Keber, editor) James Lockhart 153
The Nostratic Macrofamily: A Study in Distant Linguistic Relationship (Allan R. Bomhard and John C. Kerns) Vladimir Orel 155
Pidgins and Creoles: An Introduction (Jacques Arends, Pieter Muysken, and Norval Smith, editors) Anthony P. Grant 158
From Grammar to Politics: Linguistic Anthropology in a Western Samoan Village (Alessandro Duranti) Elizabeth A. Povinelli 160
The Phantom Gringo Boat: Shamanic Discourse and Development in Panama (Stephanie C. Kane) Ellen Basso 163
Framing in Discourse (Deborah Tannen, editor) Asif Agha 164
Discourse and Pragmatic Constraints on Grammatical Choices: A Grammar of Surprises (Maria Manoliu-Manea) Petr Sgall 167
Structural Form and Utterance Context in Lhasa Tibetan: Grammar and Indexicality in a Non-configurational Language (Asif Agha) Krisadawan Hongladarom 169
Arabic Sociolinguistics: Issues and Perspectives (Yasir Suleiman, editor) Mohammed Farghal 171
Kupu mai te Tutolu: Tokelau Oral Literature (Ingjerd Hoëm, Even Hovdhaugen, and Arnfinn Muruvik Vonen) Judith Huntsman with Kelihiano Kalolo 174
Pushing Boundaries: Language and Culture in a Mexicano Community (Olga A. Vasquez, Lucinda Pease-Alvarez, and Sheila M. Shannon) Lourdes Torres 176


Sapir's Classifications: Coahuiltecan

Alexis Manaster Ramer
Wayne State University

Abstract. In this paper I present the case for the relatedness of six extinct and poorly documented languages of the Gulf coast and the basin of the Rio Grande--Coahuilteco, Comecrudo, Garza, Mamulique, Cotoname, and Karankawa--and explore the rather more tenuous possibility of a further relationship with Atakapa. These languages (sometimes including, sometimes excluding Atakapa) were, together with Tonkawa, posited as a language family by Swanton and Sapir early in the century, a proposal that has been generally rejected since the mid-1960s. While I find no evidence of a Tonkawa connection, and relatively little for the Atakapa one, at least a major part of the earlier proposals is thus vindicated.

Reconstructing Initial Change in Algonquian

David J. Costa
University of California, Berkeley

Abstract. In Algonquian languages there is a widespread rule of first-syllable verbal ablaut, known in the literature as initial change. Although many details of the Proto-Algonquian verbal system have been reconstructed with great assurance, initial change has been largely ignored in comparative and historical Algonquian studies. In this paper I compare the process in all the attested daughter languages and then reconstruct initial change in Algonquian. This reconstruction depends on evidence from several languages not usually considered in comparative Algonquian studies and also raises interesting issues in the phonology of word-initial vowels in Proto-Algonquian.

Areal Diffusion in Northwest Amazonia: The Case of Tariana

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
Australian National University

Abstract. The large linguistic area of the Vaupes River region in northwest Amazonia is characterized by obligatory multilingualism based on two principles of strict exogamy: "My brothers are those who share a language with me" and "We don't marry our sisters." Tariana is the only North Arawak language spoken in the Vaupes region. East Tucanoan languages spoken there are closely related and display a significant degree of structural similarity, as well as a strong inhibition against the "language-mixing" of lexical loans. This paper considers areal influences of East Tucanoan on Tariana phonology, grammatical structure, and semantics. It also discusses independent innovations in Tariana, in contrast to other North Arawak languages of the upper Rio Negro region, and language attrition phenomena. This investigation contributes both to the study of North Arawak languages of South America and to our understanding of areal diffusion of structural patterns in a relatively young linguistic area.

Topic and Focus in Sundanese

Franz Müller-Gotama
California State University, Fullerton

Abstract. This paper focuses on the grammatical treatment of information in Sundanese. Using data from published sources as well as from elicited examples, I show that Sundanese employs three particles, mah, teh, and tea, for marking new, given, and reintroduced information, respectively. In question-answer sequences, teh appears in the question, marking the setting of the question, while mah appears in the answer, where it marks the new information provided. While these three particles serve the single function of marking pragmatic roles, they are quite different in their syntactic behavior and text distribution. Specifically, mah and teh occur immediately to the right of any maximal phrase, while tea appears as a determiner.

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