This book presents a new theory of grammatical categories - the Universal Spine Hypothesis - and reinforces generative notions of Universal Grammar while accommodating insights from linguistic typology.
Since 1983, Josiane Cauquelin has been engaged in an ethnographic study of Puyuma society and cultural traditions. This research led her to investigate their religious practices in greater depth and allowed her to record ritual texts from both male and female officiants. She rapidly came to understand, however, that to proceed with shamanistic studies she had to analyze the ritual language. Her first study was presented in 1993, at the third seminar of the International Society for Shamanic Research in Budapest and was published in 1995. This book represents a first attempt at providing a comprehensive ethnolinguistic study of invocations in Nanwang Puyuma.