LINGUIST List 23.2972

Sun Jul 08 2012

Books: The Languages of the Amazon: Aikhenvald

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>



Date: 06-Jul-2012
From: Helen Boyd <helen.boydoup.com>
Subject: The Languages of the Amazon: Aikhenvald
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Title: The Languages of the Amazon Published: 2012 Publisher: Oxford University Press
                http://www.oup.com/us

Book URL: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199593569.do

Author: Alexandra A. Aikhenvald Hardback: ISBN: 9780199593569 Pages: 500 Price: U.K. £ 85
Abstract:

This is the first guide and introduction to the extraordinary range of languagesin Amazonia, which include some of the most the most fascinating in theworld and many of which are now teetering on the edge of extinction.Alexandra Aikhenvald, one of the world's leading experts on the region,provides an account of the more than 300 languages, comparing theircommon and unique features, setting out their main characteristics, anddescribing the histories and cultures of the people who speak them. Thelanguages abound in rare features and in most cases have been in contactwith each other for generations, giving rise to complex patterns of linguisticinfluence. The author draws on her own extensive field research to tease outand analyse the patterns of their genetic and structural diversity. In theprocess she shows how they reflect the interrelations of language andculture: different kinship systems, for example, produce different linguisticoutcomes. She also explains the roles and workings of their unusual featuresincluding evidentials, tones and whistles, and elaborate positional verbs. Thebook ends with a glossary of terms, and a comprehensive list of referencesfor those interested in following up a language or linguistic phenomenon.

Alexandra Aikhenvald's fascinating book is aimed at a wide readership,including linguists and anthropologists. It is unburdened by esotericterminology, written in her characteristically straightforward style, and broughtvividly to life with numerous anaecdotes of her experience in the region. Itmay be used as reference for research and as an introduction for courses inLatin American studies, Amazonian studies, linguistic typology, and generallinguistics.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics                             Language Documentation                             Typology Areal Regions: Amazonian
Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website: http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=61074



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