Edited by the eminent anthropologist and linguist Franz Boas (1858–1942), this work was first published in two huge volumes between 1911 and 1922. Comprising detailed studies of four Native American languages, Volume 2 focuses on the Takelma, Coos, Siuslaw and Chukchi languages. Each chapter contains a discussion of the speakers of the language, its geographical distribution, the phonetic system, and an analysis of the grammar and vocabulary. The work built upon the foundations laid by J. W. Powell (1834–1902) in his Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages (1877). Boas, a pioneer in the field of cultural anthropology, intended the present work to promote his culturally relativist approach to ethnographic study. Overall, the project ranks as a landmark in entrenching scientific principles for the study of North America's indigenous peoples and languages.
The Takelma language of southwestern Oregon; Coos; Siuslawan (Lower Umpqua); Chukchee.