Description

Brian Stross         Anthropology 320L

 

 

LANGUAGE AND PREHISTORY

 

Texts

     J. Aitchison, Language Change (required)

     J. McWhorter.  2001. The Power of Babel

     L.R. Palmer. Descriptive and Comparative Linguistics (Optional)    

     J. M. Williams. Origins of the English Language (optional)

 

 

Week 1   INTRODUCTION  overview, phonology, phonemic analysis, conditioning

                environments, variation,  allophony

               Assignment:  E. Sapir "Language and Environment,"  AMERICAN

               ANTHROPOLOGIST (l9l2) l2:l5-22  [also in SELECTED WRITINGS OF

               EDWARD SAPIR, D. Mandelbaum ed.]; Williams, Ch. l, 2, and pp.

               3O2-3l2.

 

Week 2    FOLKLORE & PREHISTORY   history in myths, legends, texts, place

               names, person names and titles, etc. (e.g. Popol Vuh, ramon

               nuts, footsteps of the year, fire asking, language of Zuyua)

               Assignment:  A. Dundes, THE STUDY OF FOLKLORE, pp. 373-399,

               4l4-474.;  B. Stross, "Reconstructed humor in a Tzeltal ritual

               formula," INT. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN LINGUISTICS  39:32-43.; 

               Recommended: A. Recinos, D. Goetz and S.Morley, POPOL

               VUH.; I. Velikovsky, OEDIPUS AND AKHNATON.  Amarna princesses

 

Week 3   CHANGE IN WORDS & MEANINGS  causes, types, effects,

               evolution of  lexical systems (color terms, plant name categories,

               pronouns, numerals), markedness.     

               Assignment:Williams,Ch. 6,7,8.; B.Berlin, "Speculations

               on the growth of ethnobotanical nomenclature,"  LANGUAGE

               IN SOCIETY1:(l972):5l-86.; 

               Recommended:J.Greenberg,LANGUAGE UNIVERSALS.;  E.Sapir,

               "Internal linguistic evidence suggestive of the northern

               origin of the Navaho," in Mandelbaum (ed.) S.W.E.S.; 

               Anttila, Ch. 7.  B. Stross, "The Language of Zuyua,"  AMERICAN

               ETHNOLOGIST 1O (1):15O-164.

 

Week 4   LEXICOSTATISTICS AND RELATIVE CHRONOLOGY  glottochronology,

   word composition, consecutive sound changes, loanwords, age area inferences.

               Assignment:  S. Gudschinsky, "The ABC's of

               lexicostatistics.," WORD (l956): l75-2lO.; M. Swadesh, "What

               is glottochronology?" in M. Swadesh ORIGIN AND DIVERSIFICATION

               OF LANGUAGE,pp.27l-284.;

               Recommended: D.Hymes, "Lexicostatistics so far,"  CURRENT

               ANTHROPOLOGY 1:3-44.;  L. Campbell, QUICHEAN LINGUISTIC

               PREHISTORY, pp. 63-5.

 

 Week 5    SOUND CHANGE  causes, types, spread, effects, conditioning,

               regularity, irregular sound changes, consecutive sound changes.

               Assignment:Williams,Ch l2,l3.,W.Labov, "The social

               motivation of a sound change,"  WORD l9:273-3O9 (also in W.

               Labov, SOCIOLINGUISTIC PATTERNS).

               Recommended:  W. Labov, SOCIOLINGUISTIC PATTERNS.;  B.

               Stross, VARIATION ANDNATURAL SELECTION AS FACTORS IN

               LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL CHANGE.;  Lehmann, Ch. lO.; H.

               Hoenigswald, LANGUAGE CHANGE AND LINGUISTIC RECONSTRUCTION,

               Ch. 8-ll.;  Anttila, Ch. 4. 

 

Week 6    THE COMPARATIVE METHOD  comparative method, chance

   resemblances, cognation, correspondences, proto-sounds, proto-forms.

               Assignment: Lehmann, Ch. 5; or C.F. Hockett, Ch. 57-6O;, or

               Bloomfield, Ch. l8; or Anttila, Ch. lO, 11, l8;  or

               Hoenigswald, LANGUAGE CHANGE AND LINGUISTIC RECONSTRUCTION,

               Ch. l2.

 

Week 7    THE COMPARATIVE METHOD  lexical reconstructon, interpretations,

               diffusion problems.

               Assignment: P. Thieme, "The comparative method for

               reconstructon in linguistics," in D. Hymes, ed., LANGUAGE IN

               CULTURE AND SOCIETY, pp. 585 - 598.;  M. Swadesh, "Linguistics

               as an instrument of prehistory,"  SOUTHWEST JOURNAL OF

               ANTHROPOLOGY l5 (l959):2O-35.; M. Swadesh, "Diffusional

               cumulation and archaic residue as historical explanations," 

               SOUTHWEST JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGY 7 (l95l):l-2l.

               Recommended:  Campbell, Ch. 2, 4.

 

Week 8  INTERNAL RECONSTRUCTION  morphophonemic alternation, underlying

               forms, other inferences from internal evidence (e.g.

               transparent etymology, marriage rules from kin terms, etc.).

               Assignment: 

               Recommended:  E. Sapir, "Time perspective in aboriginal

               American culture," in D. Mandelbaum, ed.,

   SELECTED WRITINGS OF EDWARD SAPIR; 

   and C. Hockett, Ch. 55,; or Lehmann, Ch. 6;  or Anttila, Ch. l2, l3.

 

Week  9   DIALECT GEOGRAPHY, VARIATION, CONTACT   borrowing, trade and

               conquest, population movements, migration theory, ecological

               consideration, homeland delineation.

               Assignment:  Williams, Ch. 3, 4, 5.;  L. Campbell and T.

               Kaufman, "A linguistic look at the Olmecs,"  AMERICAN

               ANTIQUITY  4l:8O-89;  A. R. Diebold, "Determining the

               centers of dispersal of language groups,"  INTERNATIONAL

               JOURNAL OF AMERICAN LINGUISTICS 2l (l96O):l-lO.;

               Recommended:  Campbell, Ch. 5.; N.A. Hopkins, "Historical

               and sociocultural aspects...," in Blount & Sanches,

               SOCIOCULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF LANGUAGE CHANGE, pp. l85-226. 

               B. Stross, "Oppositional Pairing in Mesoamerican Divinatory

               Day Names."  ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS  25:273.

 

 Week lO   MORPHOLOGICAL AND SYNTACTIC CHANGE  causes, types, effects,

               relation to sound change, child language

               Assignment:  Williams, Ch. 9, lO, ll.;  Lehmann, Ch. ll; or

               Bloomfield, pp. 4O4-424; or Anttila, Ch. 5.;  V. Bricker,

               PRONOMINAL INFLECTON IN THE MAYAN LANGUAGES.;

               J. Gumperz (art. in Tyler or Casson ed.).

               Recommended:  H. Hoenigswald, LANGUAGE CHANGE AND LINGUSTIC

               RECONSTRUCTION, Ch. 3-7.; U. Weinreich, LANGUAGES IN CONTACT.

 

Week ll   WRITTEN RECORDS   writing and scripts, decipherment and

               interpretation of written records, Maya hieroglyphs,

               Silas John,  comment on B.Fell's interpretations, using texts and dictionaries.      

               Assignment:  Williams, Ch. 4, l3.;  Lehmann, Ch. 4; B. Stross

               "The Burden of Office"  MEXICON 1O:118-121.

               Recommended:  I.J. Gelb, A STUDY OF WRITING.; K. Basso,

               "A Western Apache writing system," in Blount and Sanches

               (eds.) SOCIOCULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF LANGUAGE CHANGE, pp.

               227-252.B.Stross" MayaHieroglyphicWriting and

               Mixe-Zoquean," ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS 24:73-134. B.

               Stross "Late Formative Writing in Mesoamerica." VISIBLE

               LANGUAGE.        

 

Week l2  GENEALOGICAL CLASSIFICATION OF LANGUAGES 

   evidence of relationships,  subgrouping,  proto-languages

   and "common languages",  family tree representations.

               Assignment:  Campbell, Ch. 3.; L. Campbell and T. Kaufman,

               "On Mesoamerican linguistics," AA 82:85O-857.; S. Witkowski and

               C. Brown, “Mesoamerican historical linguistics and distant

               genetic relationship" AA 83:9O5-9ll.; Campbell and Kaufman,

               "Mesoamerican historical linguistics..."  AA 85:362-372.

               Recommended:  Anttila, Ch.l5.; J.Robertson,"A proposed

               Revision in Mayan subgrouping,"  IJAL 43:lO5-l2O.; Brown &

               Witkowski "Aspects of the phonological history of Mayan-

               Zoquean," IJAL 45:34-47.  L. Campbell, "Distant genetic

               relationship and the Maya-Chipaya hypothesis," 

               ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS l5:ll3-l35.  

 

Week l3   TYPOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION OF LANGUAGES  language universals,

               typologies, areal influences.

               Assignment:  E. Dozier, "Two examples of linguistic

               acculturation,"  LANGUAGE 32 (l956):l46-l57.  H. Hoijer,

               "Linguistic and cultural change,"  LANGUAGE 24 (l948):335-345.

               Recommended:  Lehmann, Ch. 3; J.H. Greenberg (ed.),

               UNIVERSALS OF LANGUAGE [especially Ch. l,2,5,6,7,lO].; 

               Anttila,Ch.l6.; J.Sherzer,"Areal and typological

               classification..."

 

Week l4 MODELS OF LANGUAGE AND COMMUNITY

    WITH REFERENCE TO CHANGE.    Tree and wave notions,

                Sociolinguistic factors, discourse analysis, summary of methods, history.

               Assignment: Recommended: J.H. Greenberg, ESSAYS IN

               LINGUISTICS.; H. Pedersen,  THE DISCOVERY OF LANGUAGE.;

               Lehmann, Ch. 9.;  I. Dyen and D.F. Aberle, LEXICAL RECONSTRUCTION.;  

               Recommended:  B. Stross "Glyphs on Classic Maya Vessels:

               The Introductory Formula of the Primary Standard Sequence."  

               PALENQUE ROUND TABLE.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplementary Texts

         

     J.W. Anderson,  STRUCTURAL ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE CHANGE    

     R. Anttila, AN INTRODUCTION TO HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE LINGUISTICS

     D. Bickerton, ROOTS OF LANGUAGE

     L. Bloomfield, LANGUAGE

     T. Bynon, HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS

     L. Campbell, QUICHEAN LINGUISTIC PREHISTORY

     H.H. Hock, PRINCIPLES OF HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS

     C.F. Hockett,  A COURSE IN MODERN LINGUISTICS

     R. King, HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS AND GENERATIVE GRAMMAR 

     W.P. Lehmann, HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS

 

--------------

INTERNET RESOURCES

 

AncientScripts Linguistic Prehistory Links

 

 

 

_____________________

 

Home

 

Department Page

 

comments:  mailto:bstross@mail.utexas.edu