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Summary Details

Query:   Sources of Amerind and Armenian descriptive material
Author:  David Harris
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Language Documentation

Language Family:   Armenian
Amerindian Pidgin

Summary:   My thanks to the following individuals who responded to my query regarding
descriptive material for Amerind languages and Armenian:
- ---------------------------------------
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@worldnet.att.net
Douglas Dee douglas.dee@us.pwcglobal.com
Scott DeLancey delancey@darkwing.uoregon.edu
Michael Dunn michael.dunn@anu.edu.au
- ---------------------------------------
The text of my original query appears directly below, followed by the
responses. At the bottom, I have written a couple of brief observations
regarding materials I have been able to consult so far.
I. North American (Amerind) Sources:
> Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 18:50:39 -0500
> From: "David Harris" <dharris@las-inc.com>
> Subject: Availability of a General Amerind Reference
> I have been looking in vain for something resembling Comrie's _The World's
> Major Languages_ which contains similar analyses of a wide variety of
> Amerind languages, a group that is missing from Comrie's book. I would be
> interested in finding a similar analysis of Armenian.

For the languages of North America, it depends how technical you want to
get; there is a plethora of such materials. Look at the Smithsonian Hbk.
of North American Indians, vol. 17 "Languages"; the individual chapters
in the regional volumes of that series (about half of them have been
published by now. Lyle Campbell, American Indian Languages [includes
Meso- and South]. A book from Univ. of New Mexico Pr. whose second
author is Wick Miller with a fairly elaborate title is in textbook
format. M. Mithun's vol. North American Languages in the Cambridge
Language Surveys is about to appear (and Suarez on Mesoamerican
Languages was one of the first). Current Trends in Linguistics vol. 10.
Campbell & Mithun, Linguistic Structures of Native America.

For Armenian, a chapter in *The Indo-European Languages* pub. Routledge.

In general, Encyclopaedia Britannica "Languages of the World" (but not
the CD version, unless they figured out how to type the diacritics since
the 97 release, which is also missing most of the maps and family
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@worldnet.att.net
I don't know of anything that exactly fits your requirements, but here are
some suggestions:

The "Concise Compendium of the World's Languages"
George L. Campbell
Routledge, 1995
0-415-1604-9 (Paperback)
0-415-11292-X (Hardcover)

This includes sketches of 4 American languages (Guarani, Mapudungu, Navajo,
among the 100 or so covered. They average 5 pages each.

There is a non-"Concise" version, covering about 300 languages, &
presumably a few
more American ones, but I don't have details.

The "Handbook of North American Indians," Volume 17 "Languages"
eds. Ives Goddard (this volume) & William C. Sturtevant (the series)
Smithsonian Institution 1996

This includes sketches of twelve languages: Central Alaskan Yupik, Hupa,
Cree, Lakhota, Zuni, Eastern Pomo,
Seneca, Wichita, Thompson, Coahuilteco, Sahaptin, Shoshone. These occupy
pages 325-720 (about 33 pages each). You'll note this is limited to the
USA & Canada.

(3) I believe Franz Boas wrote or edited a "Handbook of American Indian
published in sections from 1911? onwards. I've never seen it.

Good luck with your search.

Douglas Dee
Your best bet is probably Campbell and Mithun's _Languages of
Native America_. The chapters on different N. American families
aren't all organized according to the same plan, but most of them
give a reasonably coherent account of basic structure.

Scott DeLancey
Department of Linguistics
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403, USA


II. Armenian:
I haven't got the book on hand, but I'm pretty certain you'll find
materials on Armenian in Comrie's "Languages of the Soviet Union"
(Cambridge University Press 1981).

Michael Dunn, Linguistics
School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia
phone: (02) 6773 3203 fax: (02) 6773 3735
mdunn3@metz.une.edu.au (for UNE business)
michael.dunn@anu.edu.au (anything else)
For Armenian, a chapter in *The Indo-European Languages* pub. Routledge.

In general, Encyclopaedia Britannica "Languages of the World" (but not
the CD version, unless they figured out how to type the diacritics since
the 97 release, which is also missing most of the maps and family
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@worldnet.att.net
(I repeated the Armenian portion here from his post on Amerind above)

1- I found the Franz Boas book referenced by Douglas Dee above in a slim
paperback version accompanied by J.W. Powell's Indian Linguistic Families of
America North of Mexico. The editor is Preston Holder, and the book can be
ordered for $12 from amazon.com (although I only paid $10 at a local B&N).
This book does not contain any of the grammatical analysis I am looking for;
it simply lists the languages by family and briefly describes the population
figures by location as of the turn of the century. It's a nice reference to
have around, though.

2- I briefly looked over the Navajo entry in the Concise Compendium of the
World's Languages at Barnes and Nobles. It was a short but very informative
entry, and I'm hoping that I can find the non-concise version at my
university library so that I can find other Amerind descriptions there. (I'm
specifically looking for descriptions of Cherokee and Ute, which I probably
should have said in the original query, so if you know of any, please let me
know. I was also looking for a Lakota reference, which apparently exists in
the Handbook of American Indians, vol 17 which I haven't yet had a chance to
look at.)

Thanks once again to all those who responded.
David Harris

LL Issue: 9.1701
Date Posted: 03-Dec-1998
Original Query: Read original query


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