[X] Anthropological Linguistics

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Vol. 56, no. 1 (Spring 2014)



Language in the Constitution of Kinship Ian Keen 1

Grammar, Dialectal Variation and Honorific Registers in Nahuatl in Seventeenth-Century Guatemala Sergio F. Romero 54

Lillooet Bird Names Henry Davis and Jan van Eijk 78

Book Reviews

The Languages of the Amazon (Alexandra Aikhenvald) Patience Epps 100
A Reference Grammar of Kotiria (Wanano) (Kristine Stenzel) Wilson Silva 106
Portuguese Missionary Grammars in Asia, Africa, and Brazil, 1550–1800 (Otto Zwartjes) Mauricio J. Mixco 112


Language in the Constitution of Kinship

Ian Keen
Australian National University

Abstract. Kinship has been an “essentially contested concept” in social and cultural anthropology. Nevertheless, linguistic and anthropological linguistic studies of kinship terminologies, grammar, and pragmatics have developed in parallel with anthropological ones. Lacking, however, is a broad overview of the range of linguistic variation across languages that would build a bridge between the linguistics and anthropology of kinship. Toward that end, this article explores the role of language in the constitution of kinship. It asks, on what linguistic resources do people of different cultures and languages draw in order to constitute kinship as an institution?

Grammar, Dialectal Variation, and Honorific Registers in Nahuatl in Seventeenth-Century Guatemala

Sergio F. Romero
University of Texas at Austin

Abstract. This article examines honorific registers in Central Mexican and Guatemalan varieties of Nahuatl in seventeenth-century Guatemala, highlighting the importance of sociolinguistic methods for the dialectology of Mesoamerican languages. A comparative study of two pastoral texts reveals that the differences between the honorific registers of the Nahuatl varieties were quantitative rather than categorical: the structure of honorifics is the same (for all syntactic categories), but significant differences appear in the frequency of honorific marking, especially on verbs. Metalinguistic comments in Spanish sources provide evidence of the impact of these differences on stylistic marking, ethnic boundary work, and indexing of social status.

Lillooet Bird Names

Henry Davis
University of British Columbia

Jan van Eijk
First Nations University of Canada

Abstract. This article contains an annotated list of all bird names recorded in the Lillooet language, compiled by the authors over the course of many years of fieldwork in Lillooet territory (British Columbia, Canada). Although in most cases we have managed to identify the bird species referred to by the Lillooet terms, in a few cases we have not yet been able to do so. This is due to a number of factors, which include problems with using standard field guides to prompt identification, the use of local English vernacular terms, and the decline of specialized ethno-ornithological knowledge among the remaining fluent Lillooet speakers.

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