Title

Evaluating proposals for long-distance genetic relationships: Uto-Aztecan vs. Plateau-Penutian

Abstract

The historical linguistics of Native North America has been replete with efforts to connect established language families via proposals of ever larger groupings (‘macro-families’ or ‘stocks’). This chapter reviews some of this history under the premise that proposals for such remote relations require the same burden of proof as any language family: (i) identification of systematic correspondences in form and meaning as established by the comparative method; and (ii) identification of shared morphological ‘aberrancies’ unlikely to develop independently via chance or transfer through contact. A case study is then presented which reviews a proposal relating the Plateau Penutian and Uto-Aztecan language families. The first criterion was not met in the original proposal, and this chapter examines a variety of aspects of comparative morphology and syntax to conclude that the second criterion has also not been met.

Publisher

Routledge

Publication Date

10-14-2019

Department

Anthropology

Document Type

Book Chapter

Notes

Chapter 23.

ISBN

9781315210636

Language

English

Format

text

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