Lexical Acculturation in Native American Languages

Synopsis

Lexical acculturation refers to the accommodation of languages to new objects and concepts encountered as the result of culture contact. This unique study analyzes a survey of words for 77 items of European culture (e.g. chicken, horse, apple, rice, scissors, soap, and Saturday) in the vocabularies of 292 Amerindian languages and dialects spoken from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. The first book ever to undertake such a large and systematic cross-language investigation, Brown's work provides fresh insights into general processes of lexical change and development, including those involving language universals and diffusion.

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