Brian Stross Anthropology 320L
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.
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
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
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,
Week 7 THE COMPARATIVE METHOD lexical reconstructon, interpretations,
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.).
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
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
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.
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