Saturday, July 4, 2015

Algonquian-Ritwan (Algic), (Kutenai) and Salish: Proving a Distant Genetic Relationship

Peter Bakker
Aarhus University
(Link) pdf

"A connection between Algonquian and Salishan was first suggested almost a century ago, and several Americanists have mentioned it or briefly discussed it (Boas, Haas, Sapir, Swadesh, Thompson, Denny). However, nobody has tried to provide proof for the matter beyond a few suggestive lexical correspondences (Haas, Denny) and typological similarities (Sapir)."

"In my paper I follow the method used by Goddard (1975) and focus on morphology to try and prove a genetic relationship between the two families. The morphological organization of the Salishan and Algonquian verbs are highly similar. Moreover, some of the pertinent grammatical morphemes also show striking formal similarities. In addition, a number of shared quirks between Salishan and Algonquian point to a genetic connection. There is archaeological evidence linking both Algonquian and Ritwan languages with the Columbia Plateau, where Salishan languages dominate, suggesting a shared history of the three groupings in the Columbia River area."

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