[X] Anthropological Linguistics

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Vol. 47, no. 1 (Spring 2005)


The Indigenous Languages of the Southeast Ives Goddard 1

Alsea Pronouns M. Dale Kinkade427

Nominal Classification in Mali Tonya N. Stebbins 77

Book Reviews

An Introduction to the Shoshoni Language: Dammen Daigwape (Drusilla Gould and Christopher Loether) Catherine S. Fowler 132
Cowlitz Dictionary and Grammatical Sketch (M. Dale Kinkade) Paul D. Kroeber 133
Modern Mohegan: The Dialect of Jits Boduaxa (Julian Granberry) and A Lexicon of Modern Mohegan: The Dialect of Jits Boduaxa (Julian Granberry) Blair A. Rudes 134
Selfish Sounds and Linguistic Evolution: A Darwinian Approach to Language Change (Nikolaus Ritt) Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy 138


The Indigenous Languages of the Southeast

Ives Goddard
Smithsonian Institution

Abstract. For over one hundred years, the conventional view has been that the languages of the Southeast (roughly the southeastern quadrant of the United States) belonged to a relatively small number of language families, of which Muskogean and Siouan were the most widespread. The available evidence, however, including historical records extending back nearly five centuries, shows the Southeast to have been an area of great linguistic diversity and supports the presence of Muskogean and Siouan-Catawba languages only in relatively restricted areas. The reality is that a very large number of the languages spoken by small local populations, and in some cases by larger groups, are undocumented, and it is likely that additional language families were represented among these lost languages. A new map of the indigenous languages of the Southeast reflects a more realistic assessment of the current state of knowledge.

Alsea Pronouns

M. Dale Kinkade†
University of British Columbia

Abstract. Alsea is classified as one of the Oregon Penutian languages, yet its subject pronominal system, when one extracts apparent borrowings and late formations of all dual forms, matches that of Proto-Salishan almost exactly. A few other grammatical affixes and a small amount of vocabulary also look similar between Alsea and Salish. Nevertheless, the number of similarities between Alsea and its southern neighbor Siuslaw seems to be greater. These appear to point more strongly to a probable relationship between these two languages, rather than to one with Salish, although the identity of Alsea and Salishan pronominal elements remains unexplained.

Nominal Classification in Mali

Tonya N. Stebbins
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, La Trobe University

Abstract. Mali (Baining language family, Papua New Guinea) makes use of two distinct noun classification systems and a three-way number contrast (singular, dual, and plural). A simple three-term gender system is used within the predicate and in possessive constructions, while a more complex noun class system based on shape and size is used within the noun phrase. Both systems make a primary distinction between human and nonhuman referents. In this article, the distribution and functions of the noun classification systems are introduced, and the semantic basis for noun class assignment is explained. Discourse effects on the system are also discussed.

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