Volume 35, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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This article reconsiders various aspects of missionary linguistics on the Pacific Northwest Coast in the late 19th century. In particular, it explores the complex relationship between Alfred Hall’s (1853–1918) A Grammar of the Kwagiutl Language (1888) and Charles Harrison’s (d.1926) Haida Grammar (1895), and it is shown that, in many cases, both the basic analytical framework and the clarificatory examples that Harrison used were largely derived from Hall’s work. Such connections have not been recognised previously, and yet they are of importance, since they indicate that traditional Graeco-Roman categories and paradigms were not the only templates used by missionaries who were seeking to analyse the indigenous languages of North America. In addition, Hall’s and Harrison’s accounts of numerals in Kwak’wala and Haida (respectively) are reassessed, and it is suggested that their analyses were influenced by the classificatory approaches presented in contemporaneous studies of non-Western languages (e.g., Japanese).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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