Page:The American Indian.djvu/344

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286
THE AMERICAN INDIAN

Unlike culture, language has no true archæology, but a few stocks have become extinct since their discovery, as indicated in the tabulated lists. Yet, it is truly surprising that so few have so far passed out of existence, though it is probable that their extinction will proceed from now on with increasing rapidity.[1] This tendency of speech to survive long after great culture change must be taken into account when we attempt to correlate our classifications. It also complicates the problem of linguistic origins.

To summarize, then, we find a genetic basis for linguistic classification, expressed by the term stock. All the native languages of the United States and Canada have been identified, or we may say there is no historic tribe in this territory whose linguistic stock is not known.[2] For Mexico and Central America[3] we can not be sure, but it is improbable that more than two or three have been overlooked. In South America,[4] we are still less certain of the completeness of our knowledge. In the appendix we have tabulated the recognized stocks for these geographical divisions: for the United States and Canada there are fifty-six stocks; for Mexico and Central America, twenty-nine; and for South America, eighty-four. Distribution maps have been prepared which we present in outline: Figs. 85, 86, and 87. Upon these, the stocks are designated by numerals which stand for the corresponding stocks in alphabetical order (see pp. 369-385.)


COMPARATIVE PHONETICS

Linguistic studies fall into two rather distinct groups: phonetics and structure. Of these, phonetics is still quite undeveloped, the greater effort being placed upon structure, or word and sentence formation. Yet, some progress has been made in phonetics. For a time, attention was given only to the necessary practical ways of recording these new languages, each field-worker devising his own system. A certain initial uniformity was secured by the mechanical limitations of printing, but even this proved unsatisfactory. Recently the American Anthropological Association appointed a committee to formulate and standardize the methods of transcribing and

  1. Goddard, 1914. I.
  2. Powell, 1891; Boas (editor), 1911. I.
  3. Thomas and Swanton, 1911. I.
  4. Chamberlain, 1913. I; Brinton, 1891. I.