[Lingtyp] Americanist contributions to typology

Enrique L. Palancar epalancar at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 4 02:43:26 EDT 2016


Hi David, 
This might stray a little from what you asked, but it's worth a try, for besides the fundamental contemporary contributions to the body of knowledge of linguistic typology coming from recent, modern description of the Amerindian languages, I think it would be fair for this volume to acknowledge that modern descriptive linguistics in the Western world really started with the efforts of Spanish and Portuguese missionary linguists of the XVIth and XVIIth century trying to make sense of the grammar of many Amerindian languages when they were faced with both structures and sounds that were utterly unthinkable to the European mind at the time. This is often forgot, but some of these linguists, the best among them, did a wonderful job, although their work is commonly only known (and appreciated) in the circles of language specialists of the very same language families of the Americas on which these works were based. Such works deal with most of the phenomena that have been mentioned here, sometimes in very insightful ways. Most of the scholars that use these sources would agree, I think, that they do so, because they provide an invaluable window onto the histories of the modern languages, which for most of them it’s the only one we have. 
Very best,Enrique
> From: dbeck at ualberta.ca
> Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2016 08:20:38 -0600
> To: LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org
> Subject: [Lingtyp] Americanist contributions to typology
> 
> Hi, everyone
> 
> At the International Journal of American Linguistics, we’re planning a 100th anniversary issue and part of it will have a survey of developments in linguistics and typology influenced by studies of American (in the Arctic-to-Tierra-del-Fueego sense) languages. So, I thought I would do a bit of a straw poll and ask the typological community what areas they thought had been most influenced by data from American languages (rather than relying on my own narrow point of view). Thoughts?
> 
> cheers,
> 
> David
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