[X] Anthropological Linguistics

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Vol. 46, no. 1 (Spring 2004)



Proto-Arawá Phonology R. M. W. Dixon 1

Historical Problems and Methodological Issues Regarding Nhanda, an Aboriginal Language of Western Australia Rupert Gerritsen 84

Review Essay

Developments in the Study of "Gesture" in Language Brenda Farnell 100

Book Reviews

Onondaga-English/English-Onondaga Dictionary (Hanni Woodbury) Blair A. Rudes 116
Papers of the Thirtieth Algonquian Conference (David H. Pentland, editor) Paul Proulx 118
A Grammar of Gaagudju (Mark Harvey) Jeffrey Heath 121
The Arabic Language and National Identity: A Study in Ideology (Yasir Suleiman) Bernard Spolsky 122
The Dravidian Languages (Bhadriraju Krishnamurti) Ian Smith 125


Proto-Arawá Phonology

R. M. W. Dixon
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, La Trobe University

Abstract. Phonological systems and vocabularies are compared for the five languages of the small Arawá family, from Brazil and Peru. There is one extinct language—called Arawá—and four living languages—Kulina-Dení, Jarawara-Jamamadí-Banawá, Sorowahá, and Paumarí. After eliminating likely loans, about 460 cognate sets are established. From study of the phonetic character and distribution of sets of sound correspondences, the phonological system of Proto-Arawá is reconstructed. A number of unusual correspondence sets suggest the existence of a small substratum vocabulary within Paumarí, possibly from an Arawá group speaking a distinct language, whose members merged with the Paumarí tribe. There is no evidence for genetic relationship between the Arawá family and either Arawak or any other recognized language family.

Historical Problems and Methodological Issues Regarding Nhanda, an Aboriginal Language of Western Australia

Rupert Gerritsen
Canberra, Australia

Abstract. While salvage linguistic studies are valuable projects in fostering language retention and recovery, such studies are prone to methodological difficulties that have the potential to compromise their validity. In Australia particularly, salvage linguistic studies may be employed by parties involved in competing Native Title claims, making the validity of the study a critical issue. Furthermore, the validity of such studies may also have a bearing on other historical questions. In this article, a particular study is critically examined, possible methodological shortcomings and historical problems identified, and the relevance of these to a particular historical linguistic debate are considered.

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