Some Sociolinguistic Characteritics of Premodern Societies and Modern Indigenous Societies

  • Jacob S. Siegel


In this chapter I examine another special group of language communities. They are characterized by a technological culture that is wholly or largely premodern. They vary widely in time and place and their degree of modernity. A few of these groups have writing systems, but most do not, even though they currently may exist as viable communities amidst established national populations. Some are prehistoric, extinct-language communities. While all the communities considered here have premodern cultures, some have survived to present times as indigenous societies but in a different form than during their earlier past. Among the surviving groups, some are indigenous peoples who have been militarily overwhelmed by a colonial power, and have been so isolated that they have maintained much, if not all, of their traditional cultures in spite of the developments in the surrounding world.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob S. Siegel
    • 1
  1. 1.North BethesdaUSA

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