A history of the Iroquoian languages

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Julian, Charles
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The Iroquoian language family is indigenous to eastern North America. It has both a southern branch, represented by Cherokee, and a northern branch, represented by Huron, Mohawk, and Tuscarora, among others. The languages are notable for their rich inflectional morphology and complex patterns of allomorphy, as well as their small numbers of consonant phonemes which nonetheless yield complex consonant clusters. To date, the history of the Iroquoian languages has been limited to short summaries, and formal reconstruction of the phonology and morphology of Proto-Iroquoian (PI) has not been undertaken. This work represents the first systematic attempt to reconstruct PI phonology and morphology and trace subsequent developments through to modern languages. The comparative method has been used, but the theoretical disposition of the work is otherwise neutral and should permit interpretation of the data by researchers of any theoretical persuasion. Chapter 1 outlines previous studies in Iroquoian historical linguistics and addresses issues of time depth, subgrouping, borrowing, and inheritance. Chapter 2 presents the phonemic inventory, phonology, and morphology of PI as reconstructed through comparison of Cherokee and Proto-Northern Iroquoian (PNI). Fifteen chapters follow that relate the phonological and morphological changes separating each descendant language from its parent stage. Evolution of Cherokee from PI is described in Chapter 3. The descent of PNI from PI is detailed in Chapter 4. Development of Proto-Tuscarora-Nottoway (PTN) from PNI is related in Chapter 5, and development of Tuscarora and Nottoway from PTN in Chapters 6 and 7. Development of Susquehannock and Laurentian from PNI is discussed in Chapters 8 and 9. Descent of Proto-Mohawk-Oneida (PMO) from PNI is presented in Chapter 10, and the evolution of Mohawk and Oneida from PMO in Chapters 11 and 12. Development of Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Huron from PNI is related in Chapters 13 through 16, and development of Wyandot from Huron is described in Chapter 17. Chapter 18 discusses fragmentary languages: Meherrin, Wenro, Erie, and Neutral. Data for this study were gathered from primary sources (dictionaries, grammars, word lists), and cognate sets upon which reconstructions in the study are based are included in two appendices.
Iroquoian languages, Comparative linguistics