Philological Approaches to the Study of North American Indian Languages: Documents and Documentation

  • Ives Goddard


Philology may be thought of as that part of the discipline of linguistics that is concerned with getting from texts and other recorded attestations of languages systematic information that is not directly conveyed by such records as they stand. One branch of philology is concerned with obtaining information about cultures, especially about those aspects of culture which reveal themselves most directly in discourses of various sorts. Under this head may be put, on the one hand, the literary analysis of oral and written literature, both by traditional methods of textual interpretation and by more recently developed structuralist approaches, and, on the other hand, attempts to discover in the grammatical and semantic categories of languages more or less direct reflexes of the culture and psychology of their speakers. It is not possible to do more here than merely mention the existence of these facets of the broader field of philology, but it would be fair to say that, although the importance and applicability of these types of analysis to native North American languages has long been noted, they have not yet borne fruit in a way that is fully satisfying as to their linguistic aspects.1


Early Record Indian Language Documentary Source Comparative Evidence American Philosophical Society 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

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  • Ives Goddard

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