Advances in the study of Siouan languages and linguistics

Advances in the study of Siouan languages and linguistics

The Siouan family comprises some twenty languages, historically spoken across a broad swath of the central North American plains and woodlands, as well as in parts of the southeastern United States. In spite of its geographical extent and diversity, and the size and importance of several Siouan-speaking tribes, this family has received relatively little attention in the linguistic literature and many of the individual Siouan languages are severely understudied. This volume aims to make work on Siouan languages more broadly available and to encourage deeper investigation of the myriad typological, theoretical, descriptive, and pedagogical issues they raise. The 17 chapters in this volume present a broad range of current Siouan research, focusing on various Siouan languages, from a variety of linguistic perspectives: historical-genetic, philological, applied, descriptive, formal/generative, and comparative/typological. The editors' preface summarizes characteristic features of the Siouan family, including head-final and "verb-centered" syntax, a complex system of verbal affixes including applicatives and subject-possessives, head-internal relative clauses, gendered speech markers, stop-systems including ejectives, and a preference for certain prosodic and phonotactic patterns. The volume is dedicated to the memory of Professor Robert L. Rankin, a towering figure in Siouan linguistics throughout his long career, who passed away in February of 2014.