Page:Journal of American Folklore vol. 12.djvu/230

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Among the first fruits of Dr. Brinton’s linguistic stuides, which he resumed soon after settling down for life in Philadelphia, were an examination of the “MS. Arawack Vocabulary of Schultz” (Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc., 1869) and “The Arawack Language of Guiana, in its Linguistic and Ethnological Relations” (Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., 1871) in which he showed that the Lucayan speech of the Indians of the Bahamas, the native language of Cuba, and the Taino of Haiti, were all akin to the Arawack of Guiana. His last linguistic essay, published in 1898 (Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc., vol. xxxvii.), treating of “The Linguistic Cartography of the Chaco Region,” was a distinct contribution to the literature of South American languages. Dr Brinton’s linguistic studies and investigations are altogether too numerous to be mentioned here, but their variety and importance may be judged from the number of years over which they extend. In “A Record of Study in Aboriginal American Languages” (Media, Pa., 1898, pp. 24), which the author himself, at the suggestion of the late Mr. J. C. Pilling, the bibliographer, had printed for private distribution, there are titled 71 articles and books. Of these, 15 are general articles and works, 14 deal with the Indian languages north of Mexico, 31 with the languages and dialects of Mexico and Central America, and 10 with the languages of the West Indies and South America.

Many of Dr. Brinton’s studies were concerned with the discussion and interpretation of the peculiar morphological traits—Dr. Brinton was a disciple of Wilhelm von Humboldt and Steinthal—which justify the ranking of the American languages en bloc as one of the great speech-families of the globe, and not as Mongolian dialects. Preceded by many investigations and studies which prepared the way for it, “The American Race: a Linguistic Classification and Ethnographic Description of the Native Tribes of North and South America” (New York, 1891, pp. 392), was “the first attempt at a systematic classification of all the tribes of America on the basis of language.” It may well be described as an epoch-making book in the literature of American linguistics. The labor alone of its compilation must have been enormous (1600 tribes are named and referred to one or other of 79 linguistic stocks in North and 61 in South America). This book and the researched of the Bureau of Ethnology are the pathfinders for the student to-day. Dr. Brinton’s original contributions in the “American Race” were the definition of many hitherto unrecognized linguistic stocks, and the clearing away a good deal of the fog raised by the early chroniclers. In 1892 appeared “Studies in South American Languages” (Philadelphia, 1882, pp. 62), consisting of essays previously published in the “Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society,” where