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Vol. 40, no. 1 (Spring 1998)



Tohono O’odham (Papago) Plurals Jane H. Hill and Ofelia Zepeda 1
Ethnolinguistic Dimensions of Northern Arapaho Language Shift Jeffrey Anderson 43
Semantic Categorization in Tibetan Honorific Nouns Scott DeLancey 109
Noun Specification and Classification in Uzbek Christopher I. Beckwith 124

Book Reviews

Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 17: Languages (Ives Goddard, editor, and William C. Sturtevant, general editor) Jeffrey Heath 141
Athabaskan Language Studies: Essays in Honor of Robert W. Young (Eloise Jelinek, Sally Midgette, Keren Rice, and Leslie Saxon, editors) Victor Golla 147
Northern Haida Songs (John Enrico and Wendy Bross Stuart) Charlotte J. Frisbie 151
Quebec’s Aboriginal Languages: History, Planning, Development (Jacques Maurais, editor) Lynn McAlpine 154
Relating Events in Narrative: A Crosslinguistic Developmental Study (Ruth A. Berman and Dan Isaac Slobin, et al.) Wallace Chafe 155
Untying the Knot: On Riddles and Other Enigmatic Modes (Galit Hasan-Rokem and David Shulman, editors) Thomas A. Green 158
The Linguistic Individual (Barbara Johnstone) Neal R. Norrick 160
Language Use and Language Change in Brunei Darussalam (Peter W. Martin, Conrad Oóg, and Gloria Poedjosoedarmo, editors) Geoffrey C. Gunn 162
Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading Between the Lines (J. Marshall Unger) Roy Andrew Miller 164
Ideology and Status of Sanskrit: Contributions to the History of Sanskrit Language (Jan E. M. Houben, editor) Peter M. Scharf 167


Tohono O’odham (Papago) Plurals

Jane H. Hill and Ofelia Zepeda
University of Arizona

Abstract. Tohono O’odham exhibits two types of plural reduplication for nouns: a marked plural with a long vowel in the reduplicated syllable, and an unmarked plural with a short vowel. The marked plural, appearing with fewer than 100 nouns, is determined partly by the foot structure of the stem, but primarily by conceptual assignment of the referent to a radial category centered on a prototype of protruding (e.g., ‘nose’) or intruding (e.g., ‘mouth’) body parts. Extensions and transformations of this schema classify nouns in diverse domains including landscape features, kin terms, names for animals, terms for plant parts, and terms for artifacts. A noun class marked by long-vowel pluralization appears to be widespread in the Tepiman languages and may reflect a broader tendency within Uto-Aztecan. We discuss finally the distinction between pluralization class and countability, returning to a classic problem in language-and-culture studies raised by Mathiot in the 1960s.

Ethnolinguistic Dimensions of Northern Arapaho Language Shift

Jeffrey Anderson
Colby College

Abstract. Northern Arapaho language shift is examined in its local, sociocultural context with specific attention to: Arapaho views of language change; shifts in the multiple functions of ways of speaking and knowing; the broader shift in knowledge and space-time resulting from Euro-American imposed forms; and Arapaho strategies for negotiating the contradictions generated by knowledge and language shift. Emphasis is on the parallactic view afforded by an ethnolinguistic and ethnohistorical orientation that considers the multiplicity of local views, language as practice, and relations to other historical dimensions of sociocultural change heretofore residual to previous linguistic and sociolinguistic models of language shift.

Semantic Categorization in Tibetan Honorific Nouns

Scott DeLancey
University of Oregon

Abstract. This article describes the categorization of nominal concepts reflected in the honorific vocabulary of Tibetan. While better-known noun categorization systems, such as classifier systems, consistently categorize nouns according to perceptual categories such as shape and size, Tibetan honorific nouns are intrinsically categorized according to social and utilitarian parameters, i.e., in terms of the ways in which humans interact with their referents. It is suggested that this difference is explainable in terms of the function of the honorific system, which is specifically to express respect toward individuals.

Noun Specification and Classification in Uzbek

Christopher I. Beckwith
Indiana University

Abstract. According to Dixon’s typological model, if an agglutinative language has a noun classification system, it should have gender, not classifiers. However, the agglutinative Turkic languages do not have gender. Moreover, Uzbek, a Turkic language of Central Asia, requires that nouns be specified in order to be counted, and, just like Mandarin or Thai (and other typical “classifier” languages) and Russian or English (and other typical “gender” or “nonclassifier” languages), it has several different grammatically motivated strategies, including classifying specifiers, for accomplishing the specification. It is shown that Uzbek does have classifiers and, accordingly, constitutes a counterexample to Dixon’s model.

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