In South America indigenous languages are extremely diverse. There are over one hundred language families in this region alone. Contributors from around the world explore the history and structure of these languages, combining insights from archaeology and genetics with innovative linguistic analysis. The book aims to uncover regional patterns and potential deeper genealogical relations between the languages. Based on a large-scale database of features from sixty languages, the book analyses major language families such as Tupian and Arawakan, as well as the Quechua/Aymara complex in the Andes, the Isthmo-Colombian region and the Andean foothills. It explores the effects of historical change in different grammatical systems and fills gaps in the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) database, where South American languages are underrepresented. An important resource for students and researchers interested in linguistics, anthropology and language evolution.
1. Introduction: South American indigenous languages – genealogy, typology, contacts Pieter Muysken and Loretta O'Connor; Part I. Introduction to South America: 2. Human migrations, dispersals, and contacts in South America Loretta O'Connor and Vishnupriya Kolipakam; 3. Basic vocabulary comparison in South American languages Harald Hammarström; Part II. Case Studies in Contact: 4. Structural features and language contact in the Isthmo-Colombian Area Loretta O'Connor; 5. The Andean foothills and adjacent Amazonian fringe Rik van Gijn; 6. The Andean matrix Simon van de Kerke and Pieter Muysken; 7. The Arawakan matrix Love Eriksen and Swintha Danielsen; 8. The Tupian expansion Love Eriksen and Ana Vilacy Galucio; Part III. Comparative Perspectives on Linguistic Structures: 9. Language internal and external factors in the development of the desiderative in South American indigenous languages Neele Mueller; 10. Verbal argument marking patterns in South American languages Joshua Birchall; 11. The noun phrase: focus on demonstratives, redrawing the semantic map Olga Krasnoukhova; 12. Subordination strategies in South America: nominalization Rik van Gijn; Part IV. Major Findings and Conclusions: 13. The languages of South America: deep families, areal relationships, and language contact Joshua Birchall, Swintha Danielsen, Love Eriksen, Ana Vilacy Galucio, Rik van Gijn, Harald Hammarström, Simon van de Kerke, Vishnupraya Kolipakam, Olga Krasnoukhova, Pieter Muysken, Neele Müller and Loretta O'Connor.