Author: Shirley Silver
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Category: Social Science
This comprehensive survey of indigenous languages of the New World introduces students and general readers to the mosaic of American Indian languages and cultures and offers an approach to grasping their subtleties. Authors Silver and Miller demonstrate the complexity and diversity of these languages while dispelling popular misconceptions. Their text reveals the linguistic richness of languages found throughout the Americas, emphasizing those located in the western United States and Mexico while drawing on a wide range of other examples from Canada to the Andes. It introduces readers to such varied aspects of communicating as directionals and counting systems, storytelling, expressive speech, Mexican Kickapoo whistle speech, and Plains sign language. The authors have included the basics of grammar and historical linguistics while emphasizing such issues as speech genres and other sociolinguistic issues and the relation between language and worldview. American Indian Languages: Cultural and Social Contexts is a comprehensive resource that will serve as a text in undergraduate and lower-level graduate courses on Native American languages and provide a useful reference for students of American Indian literature or general linguistics. It also introduces general readers interested in Native Americans to the amazing diversity and richness of indigenous American languages.