American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America

Paperback | August 15, 2000

byLyle Campbell

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Native American languages are spoken from Siberia to Greenland, and from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego; they include the southernmost language of the world (Yaghan) and some of the northernmost (Eskimoan). Campbell's project is to take stock of what is currently known about the history ofNative American languages and in the process examine the state of American Indian historical linguistics, and the success and failure of its various methodologies. There is remarkably little consensus in the field, largely due to the 1987 publication of Language in the Americas by Joseph Greenberg. He claimed to trace a historical relation between all American Indian languages of North and South America, implying that most of the Western Hemisphere wassettled by a single wave of immigration from Asia. This has caused intense controversy and Campbell, as a leading scholar in the field, intends this volume to be, in part, a response to Greenberg. Finally, Campbell demonstrates that the historical study of Native American languages has always reliedon up-to-date methodology and theoretical assumptions and did not, as is often believed, lag behind the European historical linguistic tradition.

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From the Publisher

Native American languages are spoken from Siberia to Greenland, and from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego; they include the southernmost language of the world (Yaghan) and some of the northernmost (Eskimoan). Campbell's project is to take stock of what is currently known about the history ofNative American languages and in the process ex...

Lyle Campbell is at University of Canterbury.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:August 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195140508

ISBN - 13:9780195140507

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"A tremendous amount of information has been assembled here....Anyone needing any sort of information or guidance on this subject will want to consult this book....Campbell's discussion of the history of classification is the most detailed and extensive anywhere. He has read extremely widelyin many languages and tracked down many obscure items in the secondary literature."--Diachronica