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Lexical Acculturation in Native American Languages
Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics 20
Brown examines the nature of acculturation - the process of the incorporation of foreign words about new concepts into a language - in the encounter between Europeans and Native Americans. Specifically, he examines how Native American languages adjusted to the introduction of foreign objects and concepts after 1492. He looks systematically at almost 200 Native American languages and the words they developed for 77 new items and concepts, discerning patterns about the
various linguistic issues and patterns at play.
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This is a complex effort, and one can only marvel at the amount of work required to gather the data, analyze them, sort them into meaningful categories, and then draw some general conclusions. Obviously, the comparative exercise - over and above the studies of linguistic acculturation in the individual languages - was a fruitful and fulfilling one. Certainly Brown...has accomplished a major task, and one that is an excellent demonstration of method as well as
results. This volume should be of considerable use in courses on Native American languages, acculturation, comparative methods, and historical approaches. * Language in Society *