Citation
A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-AztecanLanguages

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Title:
A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-AztecanLanguages
Series Title:
A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-AztecanLanguages
Creator:
Simmons, Virginia McConnell
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-Aztecan Languages | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/prehistory-western-north-america-impact-uto-aztecan-languages[12/7/2015 3:23:52 PM] Home A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-Aztecan LanguagesA Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-Aztecan LanguagesSubmitted by CLEAVITT on 8-29-2014 12:25 AMAuthor: David Leedom Shaul with a Foreword by Scott G. Ortman Publishing: A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of UtoAztecan Languages. By David Leedom Shaul with a Foreword by Scott G. Ortman. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2014. 400 pages. Illustrations, maps, tables, index. 6" x 9". $65.00 Hardcover. Reviewer: Virginia McConnell Simmons Asked Whos chasing the Uto-Aztecans? the authors answer in his opening paragraph is, [S]imply, everyone who is interested in the prehistory of western North America and northern Mexico. One might add that everyone with an interest in the recorded history of Native Americans can gain a keener insight and perspective regarding the origins and distribution of the Ute Indians who occupied Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico before Europeans entered this region. Author David Leedom Shaul, who has studied and written extensively about linguistics, has investigated the proto-Uto-Aztecan linguistic family of Mexico and western North America in this book and provides extensive data to support his interpretation of the spread. He stresses that changes in linguistics and genetics are slower than changes in material culture but also shows that borrowing of words took place between the users of language. Of benefit especially for readers who are not students of language, Shaul presents a brief primer of historical linguistics early in the volume. In it, he explains that a language family is a group of two or more languages that came from the same original language (4) but then points out that during a long period of time the relationships may have become obscure. The historical geographic location of one of these families, the Uto-Aztecan, has been identified as southern California, the Great Basin, northern Mexico in Sonora and Chihuahua, and the west coast of Mexico, but there also are subfamilies. Following this introductory chapter, Shaul discusses the chain of proto-Uto-Aztecan dialects that were extending through southern California to the Great Basin by 2,000,500 years before our present time. He posits eight subfamilies, with the Numic apparently being most closely related to other UtoAztecan. After discussing the theories of other researchers, Shaul subdivides the Numic range into three language groupsNorthern, Central, and Southernwhich in turn are further subdivided into dialectic Northern Paiute and Mono; Timbisha, Shoshone, and Comanche; and Kawaiisu, Chemeheuvi, Southern Paiute, Northern Ute, and Southern Ute. In the legend for Map 4, Shaul also states that the Southern languages and Hopi probably preceded Northern, and in a subsequent chapter he clarifies: About 5,000 people in twelve pueblo villages in northeastern Arizona speak the Hopi language. It is an isolate within the EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWe were most agreeably surprised to find him a polished gentleman. Description of James P. Beckwourth, African American mountain man, fur trader and explorer.

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A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-Aztecan Languages | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/prehistory-western-north-america-impact-uto-aztecan-languages[12/7/2015 3:23:52 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Uto-Aztecan language family (188). His linguistic evidence as it pertains to cultigens and agriculture is found in Chapter 8. In it, he shows that cultigens arrived gradually during about 2,000 years, reflecting secondary adaptation, far from being a single event of migration as is sometimes assumed. He also questions the early trio of corn, beans, and squash, which is found in popular literature about the Southwest. His Chapter 10 is devoted to a comparison of creation myth schemes, another topic of widespread interest. In summary, his detailed data show that understanding the Uto-Aztecan origin and spread requires revision of earlier reductionist interpretations that were once held by well-known ethnologists and archaeologists such as Morris Swadesh, Florence Hawley Ellis, Cynthia Irwin-Williams, and others. Reviewer Info: Virginia McConnell Simmons has authored several books on the history of Colorado and the American West, including The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico She also has written hundreds of articles for international, national, and regional publications, been a book editor and book reviewer, and for more than thirty years a newspaper columnist in southern Colorado, where she lives.