South American Indian Languages: Retrospect and Prospect

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This book fills the crucial need for a single volume that gives broad coverage and synthesizes findings for both the general reader and the specialist. This collection of twenty-two essays from fifteen well-known scholars presents linguistic research on the indigenous languages of South America, surveying past research, providing data and analysis gathered from past and current research, and suggesting prospects for future investigation. Of interest not only to linguists but also to anthropologists, historians, and geographers, South American Indian Languages offers a wide perspective, both temporal and regional, on an area noted for its enormous linguistic diversity and for the lack of knowledge of its indigenous languages. An invaluable source book and reference tool, its appearance is especially timely when exploitation of the rich natural resources in a number of areas in South America must surely result in the demise and/or acculturation of some indigenous groups.