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Classification of Uto Aztecan Languages 1984 Wick Miller

Classification of Uto Aztecan Languages 1984 Wick Miller

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The Classification of the Uto-Aztecan Languages Based on Lexical EvidenceAuthor(s): Wick R. MillerSource:
International Journal of American Linguistics,
Vol. 50, No. 1 (Jan., 1984), pp. 1-24Published by: The University of Chicago PressStable URL:
Accessed: 24/09/2008 16:56
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=ucpress.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with thescholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform thatpromotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.
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THECLASSIFICATIONOFTHEUTO-AZTECANLANGUAGES BASEDON LEXICAL EVIDENCE1
WICK R.MILLER
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
0.Introduction.There hasbeena notablelack ofagreement amonginformed scholarsonthe classificationof theUto-Aztecanlanguages.Theproblemrevolves around thefamily-treeapproachversus the waveor meshapproach(seeBloomfield1933:311-18 andSwadesh1959).Thefamily-tree approachassumes suddensplitswithina dialect-freeparent,whilethe waveapproachassumes a dialect continuum whichdissolvesinto distinctlanguagesand in which thenewlybuddedlanguagesreflectthe earlierdialectinterrelationships.Thewaveprinciple operatedtoagreaterextentinUto-Aztecanthansome other families(e.g.,Indo-European).ThevexingandinterestingproblemsforUto-Aztecan aretwo:first,towhat extent did thewaveprincipleoperate;andsecond,how arewe to describe orrepresenttherelationshipsthat aredifficultorimpossibletorepresent bythetradi-tionalfamily-treeclassification?TheUto-Aztecanfamilyconsists ofaboutthirty languages,locatedintwomaingeographicareas:the northernone insouthernCalifornia,theGreatBasin,andnearbyareas;andthesouthernonestretchingfromsouthernArizona,throughnorthwestMexico,into central Mexico andbeyond(seefig.1).Thosefavoring greaterimportancefor thefamily-treeapproach recog-nize three branches:Shoshonean,Sonoran,andNahuatlorAztecan.Avariantof thisapproachwouldgroupSonoranand Aztecan into asinglebranchcalledSouthern Uto-Aztecan(SUA),with Shoshonean thenrenamed Northern Uto-Aztecan(NUA).Thosefavoringgreaterimpor-tance for thewaveapproachview Uto-Aztecan asbeingcomposedofeightor moreindependentbranches.Theso-calledShoshonean,then,isviewedasconsistingof fourbranches,Sonoranofthreeormore(theparticularnumbervaryingsomewhatamongdifferentinvestigators),withgeneralbutnot universalagreementbybothgroupsthat Aztecanformsanindependentbranch.
IAnearlierversionof this articlewaspresentedduringthe 1980LinguisticInstitute,UniversityofNewMexico,atasymposiumon Uto-Aztecan historicallinguisticswhichwassponsoredbytheNational Science Foundation. Someofthe otherpaperspresentedatthesymposiumwerepublishedinIJAL49,no.3(July1983).
[IJAL,vol.50,no.1,January1984,pp.1-24]?1984byTheUniversityofChicago.Allrightsreserved.0020-7071'845001-0001$01.00
 
INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFAMERICAN LINGUISTICS
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FIG.1.-MapoftheUto-Aztecanlanguages,excludingtheAztecanbranch.
2

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