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Lexical Reconstruction: The Case of the Proto-Athapaskan Kinship System

Lexical Reconstruction: The Case of the Proto-Athapaskan Kinship System

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  • ISBN-13: 9780521134460
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Release Date: Mar 11, 2010
  • Edition: Reissue
  • Pages: 520 pages
  • Dimensions: 1.14 x 9.02 x 5.98 inches

Overview

In this book, which was originally published in 1974, lexical reconstruction is used to provide links between cultural and social anthropology and linguistics. The Athapaskan language family has members in Alaska, western Canada, the west coast and southwest of the United States, and Oklahoma. The authors use the kinship terminology of existing Athapaskan languages and dialects to provide a lexical reconstruction of the kinship terminology of the mother-language, Proto-Athapaskan, which existed perhaps 1,500 or more years ago. A central contribution of the work is the explicit delineation of the method used in lexical reconstruction to arrive at the likeliest inferences about the meanings of proto-lexemes. Other methodological contributions include a method for inferring features of social organization from kinship terminology and for reconstructing other features of social organization from the distribution of these features among existing groups.

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