Salikoko S. Mufwene s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Dec 14 14:25:47 UTC 2000

To those who responded to my query like Arnold Zwicky, here are some more
quotations that may interest you.

"The world's indigenous people and their languages are dying out or being
assimilated to modern civilization because their habitats are being
destroyed." (Nettle & Romaine, 47-48)

"Many indigenous people today, such as the Welsh, Hawaiians, and Basques,
find themselves living in nations they had no say in creating..." (Nettle &
Romaine, 21)

     The use of the term "indigenous" in the second quotation is closer to
(not quite the same as) the traditional meaning of 'native to' but
certainly not that in the first quotation or in the passages I quoted
yesterday. Romance etymology has nothing to do with the variation I have
pointed out. I agree with Donald Lance that some confusion is developing
with such euphemistic extensions (not that I want to legislate on such
usage--God forbid! a non-native speaker should not--but this is a question
of academic metaterminology anyway). The use of "indigenous" in the first
quotation prompted me to wonder which people and languages are not
indigenous/ native to our world.

     I have found Mike Salovesh's intervention very informative. Thanks.


Salikoko S. Mufwene                        s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
University of Chicago                      773-702-8531; FAX 773-834-0924
Department of Linguistics
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

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