[X] Anthropological Linguistics

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Vol. 48, no. 4 (Winter 2006)


Contents

Mythic and Poetic Dimensions of Speech in Northwestern California: From Cultural Vocabulary to Linguistic Relativity Sean O'Neill 305

On the Origin and Cultural Significance of Unusually Large Synonym Sets in Some Panoan Languages of Western Amazonia David W. Fleck and Robert S. Voss 335

The San Languages of Southern Namibia: Linguistic Appraisal with Special Reference to J. G. Krönlein's N|uusaa Data Tom Güldemann 369

Book Reviews

Saving Languages: An Introduction to Language Revitalization (Lenore A. Grenoble and Lindsay J. Whaley) David Bradley 396
Native Languages of the Southeastern United States (Heather K. Hardy and Janine Scancarelli, editors) Blair A. Rudes 399
The Navajo Sound System (Joyce McDonough) Matthew Gordon 403
The Linguistics of Maya Writing (Søren Wichmann, editor) Nicholas A. Hopkins 405
Publications Received 413

Abstracts

Mythic and Poetic Dimensions of Speech in Northwestern California: From Cultural Vocabulary to Linguistic Relativity

Sean O'Neill
University of Oklahoma

Abstract. Although current discussions of linguistic relativity tend to concentrate on obligatory grammatical categories, the original architects of this school of thought, including Boas, Sapir, and Whorf, all argued strongly for the role of vocabulary in guiding human perception, especially in the culturally charged situations of everyday life. Taking the Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk languages of northwestern California as a case study, this article demonstrates the importance of vocabulary in conveying pervasive cultural ideologies, such as those associated with mythology, religion, folklore, or geographical systems of spatial orientation.

On the Origin and Cultural Significance of Unusually Large Synonym Sets in Some Panoan Languages of Western Amazonia

David W. Fleck
La Trobe University

Robert S. Voss
American Museum of Natural History

Abstract. Some northern Panoan languages have an unusually high level of synonymy distributed nonrandomly in their lexicons. Matses, for example, has as many as five synonyms for most game animals. This synonymy clearly is not solely a product of incidental linguistic factors such as transitional diachronic lexical changeover. While word taboos, mutual intelligibility, group identity, and incorporation of captives may have contributed to the genesis of these game synonyms, the elaboration of this phenomenon appears to be primarily the product of conscious manipulation of the lexicon to serve cultural purposes, primarily that of providing a means of publicly displaying hunting knowledge.

The San Languages of Southern Namibia: Linguistic Appraisal with Special Reference to J. G. Krönlein's N|uusaa Data

Tom Güldemann
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, and University of Leipzig

Abstract. This article presents heretofore unexplored archival material on extinct Tuu languages spoken around the lower course of the Orange River in southern Africa, collected in the second half of the nineteenth century. These data are analyzed according to more recent insights into the better attested languages of this region. It can be securely established that the three relevant corpora are aligned with the |Xam dialect cluster from south of the lower Orange. While this suggests that the San on both sides of the river belonged to the same language complex, it does not throw light on the character of the San languages of southern Namibia as a whole.


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