Search results for: comparative-chukotko-kamchatkan-dictionary

Comparative Chukotko Kamchatkan Dictionary

Author : Michael Fortescue
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This volume is the first comprehensive comparative dictionary to cover the whole of the Chukotko-Kamchatkan family. The genealogical status of this family (whether from a common source or due to convergence) has long been controversial, but its coherence as a family can now be taken as proven. Its geographical position between Siberia and northernmost America renders it crucial in any attempt to relate the languages and peoples of these large linguistic regions. The dictionary consists of cognate sets arranged alphabetically according to reconstructed proto-forms and covers all published lexical sources for the languages concerned (plus a good deal of unpublished material). The criterion for setting up Proto-Chukotian sets is the existence of clear cognates in at least two of the four languages: Chukchi, Koryak, Alutor, and (now extinct) Kerek, and for Proto-Chukotko-Kamchatkan sets cognates in at least one of these plus Itelmen. Internal loans between the two branches of the family are indicated - this is particularly important in the case of the many loans from Koryak to modern western Itelmen. Proto-Itelmen sets without clear cognates in Chukotian are listed separately, without reconstructions. The data is presented in a reader-friendly format, with each set divided into separate lines for the individual languages concerned and with a common orthography for all reliable modern forms (given as full word stems, not just 'roots'). The introduction contains information on the distribution of the individual languages and dialects and all sound correspondences relating them, plus a sketch of what is known of their (pre)historical background. Inflections and derivational affixes are treated in separate sections, and Chukchi and English proto-form indexes allows multiple routes of access to the data. A full reference list of sources is included.

Orientation Systems of the North Pacific Rim

Author : Michael Fortescue
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Orientation Systems of the North Pacific Rim is an extension of the author's earlier volume Eskimo Orientation Systems (also published in the series Monographs on Greenland | Meddelelser om Grønland, Man & Society, 1988). This time it covers all the contiguous languages ? and cultures ? across the northern Pacific rim from Vancouver Island in Canada to Hokkaido in northern Japan, plus the adjacent Arctic coasts of Alaska and Chukotka. These form a testing ground for recent theories concerning the nature and classification of orientation systems and their shared ?frames of reference?, in particular the many varieties of ?landmark? systems typifying the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Despite the wide variety of languages spoken here (all of them endangered), there is much in common as regards their overlapping geographical settings and the ways in which terms for orientation within the microcosm (the house) and within the macrocosm (the surrounding environment) mesh throughout the region. This is illustrated with numerous maps and diagrams, from both coastal and inland sites. Attention is paid to ambiguities and anomalies within the systems revealed by the data, as these may be clues to pre-historic movements of the populations concerned ? from a riverine setting to the coast, from the coast to inland, or more complex successive displacements. Cultural factors over and beyond environmental determinism are discussed within this broad context.

Language Relations Across The Bering Strait

Author : Michael Fortescue
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In building up a scenario for the arrival on the shores of Alaska of speakers of languages related to Eskimo-Aleut with genetic roots deep within Sineria, this book touches upon a number of issues in contemporary historical linguistics and archaeology. The Arctic "gateway" to the New World, by acting as a bottleneck, has allowed only small groups of mobile hunter-gatherers through during specific propitious periods, and thus provides a unique testing ground for theories about population and language movements in pre-agricultural times. Owing to the historically attested prevalence of language shifts and other contact phenomena in the region, it is arguable that the spread of genes and the spread of language have been out of step since the earliest reconstructable times, contrary to certain views of their linkage. Proposals that have been put forward in the past concerning the affiliations of Eskimo-Aleut languages are followed up in the light of recent progress in reconstructing the proto-languages concerned. Those linking Eskimo-Aleut with the Uralic languages and Yukagir are particularly promising, and reconstructions for many common elements are presented. The entire region "Great Beringia" is scoured for typological evidence in the form of anomalies and constellations of uncommon traits diagnostic of affiliation or contact. The various threads lead back to mesolithic times in south central Siberia, when speakers of a "Uralo-Siberian" mesh of related languages appears to have moved along the major waterways of Siberia. Such a scenario would acount for the present distribution of these languages and the results of their meeting with remnants of earlier linguistic waves from the Old World to the New.

A typology of questions in Northeast Asia and beyond

Author : Andreas Hölzl
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This study investigates the distribution of linguistic and specifically structural diversity in Northeast Asia (NEA), defined as the region north of the Yellow River and east of the Yenisei. In particular, it analyzes what is called the grammar of questions (GQ), i.e., those aspects of any given language that are specialized for asking questions or regularly combine with these. The bulk of the study is a bottom-up description and comparison of GQs in the languages of NEA. The addition of the phrase and beyond to the title of this study serves two purposes. First, languages such as Turkish and Chuvash are included, despite the fact that they are spoken outside of NEA, since they have ties to (or even originated in) the region. Second, despite its focus on one area, the typology is intended to be applicable to other languages as well. Therefore, it makes extensive use of data from languages outside of NEA. The restriction to one category is necessary for reasons of space and clarity, and the process of zooming in on one region allows a higher resolution and historical accuracy than is usually the case in linguistic typology. The discussion mentions over 450 languages and dialects from NEA and beyond and gives about 900 glossed examples. The aim is to achieve both a cross-linguistically plausible typology and a maximal resolution of the linguistic diversity of Northeast Asia.

The Language of the Inuit

Author : Louis-Jacques Dorais
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The culmination of forty years of research, The Language of the Inuit maps the geographical distribution and linguistic differences between the Eskaleut and Inuit languages and dialects. Providing details about aspects of comparative phonology, grammar, and lexicon as well as Inuit prehistory and historical evolution, Louis-Jacques Dorais shows the effects of bilingualism, literacy, and formal education on Inuit language and considers its present status and future. An enormous task, masterfully accomplished, The Language of the Inuit is not only an anthropological and linguistic study of a language and the broad social and cultural contexts where it is spoken but a history of the language's speakers.

Information theoretic causal inference of lexical flow

Author : Johannes Dellert
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This volume seeks to infer large phylogenetic networks from phonetically encoded lexical data and contribute in this way to the historical study of language varieties. The technical step that enables progress in this case is the use of causal inference algorithms. Sample sets of words from language varieties are preprocessed into automatically inferred cognate sets, and then modeled as information-theoretic variables based on an intuitive measure of cognate overlap. Causal inference is then applied to these variables in order to determine the existence and direction of influence among the varieties. The directed arcs in the resulting graph structures can be interpreted as reflecting the existence and directionality of lexical flow, a unified model which subsumes inheritance and borrowing as the two main ways of transmission that shape the basic lexicon of languages. A flow-based separation criterion and domain-specific directionality detection criteria are developed to make existing causal inference algorithms more robust against imperfect cognacy data, giving rise to two new algorithms. The Phylogenetic Lexical Flow Inference (PLFI) algorithm requires lexical features of proto-languages to be reconstructed in advance, but yields fully general phylogenetic networks, whereas the more complex Contact Lexical Flow Inference (CLFI) algorithm treats proto-languages as hidden common causes, and only returns hypotheses of historical contact situations between attested languages. The algorithms are evaluated both against a large lexical database of Northern Eurasia spanning many language families, and against simulated data generated by a new model of language contact that builds on the opening and closing of directional contact channels as primary evolutionary events. The algorithms are found to infer the existence of contacts very reliably, whereas the inference of directionality remains difficult. This currently limits the new algorithms to a role as exploratory tools for quickly detecting salient patterns in large lexical datasets, but it should soon be possible for the framework to be enhanced e.g. by confidence values for each directionality decision.

Word Hunters

Author : Hannah Sarvasy
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In Word Hunters, eleven distinguished linguists reflect on their career-spanning linguistic fieldwork. Over decades, each has repeatedly stood up to physical, intellectual, interpersonal, intercultural, and sometimes political challenges in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. These scholar-explorers have enlightened the world to the inner workings of languages in remote communities of Africa (West, East, and South), Amazonia, the Arctic, Australia, the Caucasus, Oceania, Siberia, and East Asia. They report some linguistic eureka moments, but also discuss cultural missteps, illness, and the other challenges of pursuing linguistic data in extreme circumstances. They write passionately about language death and their responsibilities to speech communities. The stories included here—the stuff of departmental and family legends—are published publicly for the first time.

Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics

Author : Trask R. L. Trask
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Historical and comparative linguistics has been a major scholarly discipline for 200 years, and yet this is the first dictionary ever devoted to it. With nearly 2400 entries, this dictionary covers every aspect of the subject, from the most venerable work to the exciting advances of the last few years, many of which have not even made it into textbooks yet.All of the traditional terms are here, but so are the terms only introduced recently, in connection with such varied subjects as pidgin and creole languages, the sociolinguistic study of language change, mathematical and computational methods, the novel approaches to linguistic geography, the controversial proposals of new and vast language families, and the attempts at relating the results of the historical linguists to those of the archaeologists, the anthropologists and the geneticists.More than just a dictionary, this book provides genuine linguistic examples of most of the terms entered, detailed explanations of fundamental concepts, critical assessment of controversial ideas, cross-references to related terms, and an abundance of references to the original literature.Features:*The first dictionary in the field.*Comprehensive coverage.*Clearly written and accurate entries.*Covers traditional and contemporary terminology.*Provides linguistic examples of terms defined.*Supplies numerous cross-references to related terms.*Includes hundreds of references to the original literature.

The Oxford Guide to the Transeurasian Languages

Author : Martine Robbeets
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The Oxford Guide to the Transeurasian Languages provides a comprehensive account of the Transeurasian languages, and is the first major reference work in the field since 1965. The term 'Transeurasian' refers to a large group of geographically adjacent languages that includes five uncontroversial linguistic families: Japonic, Koreanic, Tungusic, Mongolic, and Turkic. The historical connection between these languages, however, constitutes one of the most debated issues in historical comparative linguistics. In the present book, a team of leading international scholars in the field take a balanced approach to this controversy, integrating different theoretical frameworks, combining both functional and formal linguistics, and showing that genealogical and areal approaches are in fact compatible with one another. The volume is divided into five parts. Part I deals with the historical sources and periodization of the Transeurasian languages and their classification and typology. In Part II, chapters provide individual structural overviews of the Transeurasian languages and the linguistic subgroups that they belong to, while Part III explores Transeurasian phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, and semantics from a comparative perspective. Part IV offers a range of areal and genealogical explanations for the correlations observed in the preceding parts. Finally, Part V combines archaeological, genetic, and anthropological perspectives on the identity of speakers of Transeurasian languages. The Oxford Guide to the Transeurasian Languages will be an indispensable resource for specialists in Japonic, Koreanic, Tungusic, Mongolic, and Turkic languages and for anyone with an interest in Transeurasian and comparative linguistics more broadly.

Mid Holocene Language Connections between Asia and North America

Author : Edward Vajda
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This volume presents the up-to-date results of investigations into the Asian origins of the only two languages families of North America, Eskaleut and Na-Dene, that are widely acknowledged as having likely genetic links in northern Asia.