[X] Anthropological Linguistics

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Vol. 53, no. 1 (Spring 2011)


Contents

Where ‘Out to Sea’ Equals ‘Towards the Fire’: The Macrocosm-Microcosm Relationship in Languages of the North Pacific Rim Michael Fortescue 1

The Structure and Function of Yoruba Facial Scarification Ọlanik Ọla Orie 15

The Documentation of Place Names in an Endangered Language Environment: A Case Study of the !Xoon in Southern Omaheke, Namibia Gertrud Boden 34

Book Reviews

A Grammar of Cavineña (Antoine Guillaume) Patience Epps 77
Converting Words: Maya in the Age of the Cross (William Hanks) Matthew Restall 80
Endangered Languages of Austronesia (Margaret Florey, editor) Aone van Engelenhoven 81
Talyšsko-russko-azerbajdžanskij slovar’ [Talyshi-Russian- Azerbaijani Dictionary] (Novruzali Mamedov) Steven Kaye 89

Abstracts

Where ‘Out to Sea’ Equals ‘Towards the Fire’: The Macrocosm-Microcosm Relationship in Languages of the North Pacific Rim

Michael Fortescue
University of Copenhagen

Abstract. An unusual conflation in the meaning of directional terms whereby ‘out to sea (or the open water)’ is equated with ‘towards the fireplace’ (and the converse, ‘to shore’ with ‘away from the fireplace’) has been observed in a number of languages of the Northwest Coast of America and of the Russian Far East. The origin and motivation for this correlation has remained a mystery, being much more specific than the overlap between terms referring to the macrocosm (the geographical surroundings) and to the microcosm (the house) that is typical of Arctic and Subarctic languages. This article presents an explanation for the phenomenon, which appears—surprisingly—to have its roots deep within Siberia.

The Structure and Function of Yoruba Facial Scarification

Ọlanik Ọla Orie
Tulane University

Abstract. Among the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria, one commonly encounters people with different patterns of facial stripes produced by scarification. It has long been observed that such stripes are labels of clan identification among the Yoruba. This article considers facial stripes from a structural viewpoint, and shows that the attested patterns are rooted in Yoruba number symbolism.

The Documentation of Place Names in an Endangered Language Environment: A Case Study of the !Xoon in Southern Omaheke, Namibia

Gertrud Boden
University of Edinburgh

Abstract. The West !Xoon variety of the Taa language complex is spoken by a small community of former hunter-gatherers in southeastern Namibia whose presence is virtually invisible on official topographical maps. This article presents the results of the documentation of !Xoon place names and describes their semantic sources and grammatical constructions. It further discusses how the high number of alternative names for the same place might be related to the Taa cognitive model of the southern Kalahari landscape, language endangerment and loss, general flexibility in !Xoon naming practices, and the complex historical layers of language contact.


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