Mississippi Government & Politics: Modernizers versus Traditionalists

Mississippi Government & Politics: Modernizers versus Traditionalists

Mississippi Government & Politics: Modernizers versus Traditionalists

Mississippi Government & Politics: Modernizers versus Traditionalists

Synopsis

In this pioneering study Paul D. Kroeber examines the history of an array of important syntactic constructions in the Salish language family. This group of some twenty-three languages, centrally located in the Northwest Coast and Plateau Regions, is noted for its intriguing differences from European languages, including the possible irrelevance of a noun/verb distinction to grammatical structure and the existence of distinctive systems of articles, which also often function as marks of subordination.

Kroeber draws on and analyzes data from a wide range of textual and other sources. Centering his detailed investigation on patterns of subordination and focusing, he situates these against the broader background of Salish syntax, examines their interrelationships, and reconstructs their historical development. The result is a study that significantly enhances understanding of the structure and history of Salish. As important, Kroeber's critical command of sources and well-considered historical proposals are exemplary, setting a methodological standard for Americanist scholarship.

Excerpt

The more than continental stretch of the American domain is given form and character as a federal union of fifty different states whose institutions order the American landscape. The existence of these states made possible the emergence of a continental nation where liberty, not despotism, reigns and self-government is the first principle of order. The great American republic was born in its states, as its very name signifies. America's first founding was repeated on thirteen separate occasions over 125 years, from Virginia in 1607 to Georgia in 1732, each giving birth to a colony that became a self- governing commonwealth. Its revolution and second founding was made by those commonwealths, now states, acting in congress, and its constitution was written cooperatively and adopted separately. As the American tide rolled westward from the Atlantic coast, it absorbed new territories by organizing thirty-seven more states over the next 169 years.

Most of the American states are larger and better developed than most of the world's nations. Although Mississippi is a middle-sized state in every respect, its two and a half million people make it larger in population than forty-eight independent members of the United Nations, while its territory of 47, 234 square miles is larger than sixty-nine independent countries.

The American states exist because each is a unique civil society within their common American culture. They were first given political form and then acquired their other characteristics. Each has its own constitution, its own political culture, its own relation to the federal union and to its section. These in turn have given each its own law and history; the longer that history, the more distinctive the state. Mississippi, for example, was carved out of the southern wilderness and formed into a rough-hewn slaveholding society, shaped by slavery and then by the Civil War and Reconstruction, which con-

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