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Publication Date

1979

Keywords

Japanese language--Influence on English; Sanskrit Language--Influence on English; Names, Geographical--Minnesota; Etymology

Abstract

In some American aboriginal words, similarities in phonetics and meaning suggest borrowing, especially from Japanese, or some language(s) from which it is derived, and from Sanskrit, the mother tongue of India, or its Indo-European predecessor. This work suggests that exploration of American Indian names may have important application to human migrations, perhaps even in pre-Columbian time. Intensive research might reveal specific regions of origin of names and of the people who brought them, and may even suggest the time and mode of travel. These studies, concentrated on the Pacific coastal regions of the Western Hemisphere, point to the Middle East and southern and eastern Asia as important source regions for North and South American aboriginal names. Some of these Asian words seem to have migrated to Minnesota. Studies of this kind may help to corroborate evidence of diffusion based on geographical distribution of plants and animals, of folklore, and of other cultural motifs, and provide documentation possibly as revealing as archaeological data, of past human migration and occupation.

First Page

14

Last Page

17

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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