Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Ways of Becoming:
Dynamic Processes in the
Creation of Athapaskan
Identities and Landscapes
Sally Rice
University of Alberta
SAA 2008
Vancouver, BA
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
aspects of the languages that
appeal to linguists
(polysynthesism)
vs.
linguistic clues that are of use to
archaeologists and anthropologists
(cognates)
Facts of
Lexical Life
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: Vs, Ns, particles
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
~30 extant languages
very large & complex sound system
“polysynthetic” [m-m-m-m-m]verb
somewhat fusional [m-m-mnmn-m]verb
verb = an array of prefixes + final stem
head final, head marking [S O V, o..s..V]
a classificatory verb system
few POS categories: V, N, particle
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
Typological
Overview
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
little lexical borrowing
why cognates are hard to find
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
reliance on endolexicon
small stem inventory (< 1300)
verb heavy, noun light
suppletion
redeployment
little lexical borrowing
vagueness, polysemy
figurativity, noncompositionality
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
reliance on endolexicon
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
suppletion
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
redeployment
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
redeployment
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
redeployment
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
redeployment (and stem variation)
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
redeployment
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
vagueness, polysemy
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
polysemy
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
figurativity
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
non-compositionality
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
Krauss (1969), Krauss & Leer (1981)
29 languages (µ < 10)
270 reconstructed forms / cognate “sets”
focus on Na-Dene comparison and PA reconstruction
Cook (2004)
7 languages
37 cognate sets
focus on Apachean and Northern relationships
Facts of
Lexical Life
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
Cook (2004)
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
D ISTANCE
B ea v e r
C a rr ie r
Ch ip e w y a n
N a v a jo
S a rsi
W es te rn A
J ic a rilla A
B ea v e r
C a rr ie r
Ch ip e w y a n
N a v a jo
0
61
54
63
72
73
78
0
62
71
72
75
76
0
63
71
72
70
0
72
49
48
S a rsi
W es te rn A
J ic a rilla A
Cook (2004)
0
72
70
0
49
0
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
Cook (2004)
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
shrinking linguistic evidence
vs.
increasing physical evidence
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
larger and less cherry-picked cognate inventory
systematic and culturally informed semantic
field analysis
new sound recordings and transcriptions of
relevant items
digitized data, searchable database
Facts of
Lexical Life
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
Received and Not-So-Received Wisdom about
Athapaskan Linguistics for Archaeologists
Typological
Overview
Facts of
Lexical Life
In Pursuit of
Cognates and
Calques
Masi chok!
Special thanks to the
following speakers...
...and colleagues and
research assistants:
Valerie Wood
Tom Cook
John Janvier
Greg Kondrak
Bruce Starlight
Stephanie Ball-Heming
Mary Koyina-Richardson
Jack Ives
Andy Norwegian
Eric Zhang & TAPoR
Maureen Olsen
[email protected]
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