Language/Linguistics

Exchanging Words

Language, Ritual, and Relationality in Brazil's Xingu Indigenous Park
By Christopher Ball

This book tells the story of the Wauja group from the Xingu Indigenous Park in central Brazil and its relation to powerful new interlocutors.

Mayan Literacy Reinvention in Guatemala

By Mary J. Holbrock

Through this investigation, the promises and pitfalls of a literacy-revitalization endeavor are detailed and our understanding of the concept of literacy is reexamined.

Word Drops

A Sprinkling of Linguistic Curiosities
By Paul Anthony Jones

From aardvark to zenzizenzizenzic, Word Drops collects a thousand obscure words and language facts in one fascinating chain of word associations.

A Prehistory of Western North America

The Impact of Uto-Aztecan Languages
By David Leedom Shaul

This book offers a new approach to the use of linguistic data to reconstruct prehistory. The author shows how a well-studied language family—in this case Uto-Aztecan—can be used as an instrument for reconstructing prehistory.

Wellness Beyond Words

Maya Compositions of Speech and Silence in Medical Care
By T. S. Harvey

Responding to the need for in-depth ethnographic studies in cultural and communicative competence, this anthropological account of Maya language use in health care in highland Guatemala explores some of the cultural and linguistic factors that can complicate communication in the practice of medicine.

Calunga and the Legacy of an African Language in Brazil

By Steven Byrd

Steven Byrd’s study provides a comprehensive linguistic description of Calunga based on two years of interviews with speakers of the language. He examines its history and historical context as well as its linguistic context, its sociolinguistic profile, and its lexical and grammatical outlines.

The Shape of Script

How and Why Writing Systems Change
Edited by Stephen D. Houston

This book builds on earlier projects about the origins and extinctions of script traditions throughout the world in an effort to address the fundamental questions of how and why writing systems change. The contributors—who study ancient scripts from Arabic to Roman, from Bronze Age China to Middle Kingdom Egypt—utilize an approach that views writing less as a technology than as a mode of communication, one that is socially learned and culturally transmitted.

Madre

Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun
By Liza Bakewell

Bakewell's study is part memoir, part travelogue, and part investigation into a culture and its language.

Giveaways

An ABC Book of Loanwords from the Americas
By Linda Boyden

Linda Boyden shares an alphabet list of indigenous loanwords from North, South, and Central America that have found their way into common usage either nationally or regionally.

Weighty Words, Too

By Paul M. LevittElissa S. GuralnickDouglas A. Burger
Illustrations by Katherine Karcz

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