LINGUIST List 13.1658

Tue Jun 11 2002

Books: Language Description:Urarina texts

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  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Urarina texts by Knut J. Olawsky

Message 1: Urarina texts by Knut J. Olawsky

Date: 11 Jun 2002 17:59 GMT
Subject: Urarina texts by Knut J. Olawsky

Urarina texts

Knut J. Olawsky
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, 
La Trobe University

Urarina is a language isolate spoken by approximately 3000 people who
live scattered in the Rio Chambira area of Loreto in the Peruvian
rainforest. While the majority of Urarina speakers are monolingual,
socio-economic changes have already lead to loss of certain cultural
knowledge, including the capacity of story telling. This text
collection intends to preserve the records of history from the Urarina
perspective. Although very little is known about neighbouring ethnic
groups (most of which are extinct), lexical and grammatical aspects
indicate that the Urarina language is not genetically related to any
of the tongues of the Rio Chambira or nearby areas. Therefore, it is
still unclear from where the Urarinas may have descended. 
However, the content of the stories presented in this book may help to
relate the way Urarinas view the world to that of other groups. For
example, many cultures of Amazonia know a story
of a flood in some way similar to the biblical account.
Interestingly, the Urarinas recognize two quite different versions of a 
flood tale, which are both presented in this book.
A short introduction to the cultural context offered in this collection 
helps to understand the way of living of the Urarinas. The sentences of
each text include grammatical information in form of an interlinearised 
translation and a free translation. All data is based on recent fieldwork
undertaken by the author.

ISBN 3 89586 693 8.
Languages of the World/Text Collections 17. 
150 pp. USD 49.90 / EUR 48.50 / � 29.20.

Free copies of LINCOM's catalogue 2002 ("project line 12") are now 
available from

LINCOM electronic n.e.w.s.l.e.t.t.e.r. :New books in June 2002.

LINCOM EUROPA, Freibadstr. 3, D-81543 Muenchen, Germany;
FAX +49 89 62269404;
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Thursday, January 17, 2002