Welcome to Uto-Aztecan.org, a website devoted to the comparative study of the Uto-Aztecan (UA) language family. Located in the southwestern United States and western Mexico, UA consists of some 30 related Native American languages descended from a common parent language that linguists now call Proto-Uto-Aztecan (PUA). Hopi, Ute, Pima, and Aztec/Nahuatl are among the better known of UA languages. The valuable works of many linguists are listed in the bibliography and some are discussed in the introduction accessible above and will be cited here increasingly over time, but the initial offerings are portions of the book, A Uto-Aztecan Comparative Vocabulary (by brian stubbs), available on this website, intended to encourage and facilitate the comparative study of Uto-Aztecan languages.
The book presently contains some 2650 Uto-Aztecan cognate sets (groups of related words), which is only the latest plateau of progress or new foundation for future research. After three decades of studying UA and compiling the book, I realized that an undertaking as large as a language family has no end, like running a race without a finish line. Each new discovery creates rows of ripples of adjustments to so much else, and there is no end to new discoveries, dictionaries, etc. Of course, we would not want an end to discoveries and such, which is all we need, one more set of conflicting desires–wanting to finish a project while ever wanting to learn more–which only guarantees that new discoveries perpetually make projects partially obsolete only days after going to press. So there seems little hope of completing the undertaking before my undertaking, but we all simply do what we can while we can. Though my contributions to date are primarily in Uto-Aztecan, other language families are additional passions and may be included later (perhaps as a rest from UA). –Brian D. Stubbs
Other articles and thoughts on Uto-Aztecan (by several) will periodically be added to this website to be available for linguists and the public generally. Uto-Aztecanists (linguists working in UA) are too many to feature (see the list of their works in the bibliography), but a few especially merit mention. Following Kroeber, Sapir, Whorf, the Voegelins, and other early icons of UA endeavor, Wick R. Miller was a mentor of mine and of many, published Uto-Aztecan Cognate Sets (1967), and was a leader in UA studies for three decades until his tragic passing in 1994. Alexis Manaster Ramer is another prolific contributor to Uto-Aztecan studies via a tidal wave of articles produced through the 1980’s and early 1990’s (see bibliography) until an illness prevented his completing and publishing a number of ideas and unfinished articles on Uto-Aztecan, which we hope to write up and periodically add to this site. Kenneth C. Hill produced an excellent and improved update of Wick R. Miller’s latest but unpublished database of potential UA cognate sets, was also the leading linguist in the production of the superb Hopi Dictionary, is a specialist in Serrano and much else, and has a good comprehensive grasp of the whole language family. Jane Hill, Karen Dakin, Andres Lionnet, Pamela Munro, Zarina Estrada Fernandez, and others have also made significant contributions, apparent in impressive resumes of UA output. Ronald Langacker and Jason Haugen have authored excellent books dealing with UA grammar. Lyle Campbell, among the most prominent of Americanists, is also a Uto-Aztecanist. Besides his voluminous dictionary of Pipil (an Aztecan dialect) and other contributions in UA, he authored American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America, the highly respected recent word on all American languages, and Historical Linguistics: An Introduction, among the more popular textbooks on historical linguistics. While not so many work on the whole language family, a host of other linguists working on a specific language or branch of UA have made perhaps the most valuable contributions of all and are listed in the introduction and bibliography (both accessible above), whose works and thoughts ought to be sought as well.
From the row at the top of the page, one can access the introduction, about one-third of the comparative phonology, some sample sets, and the bibliography of the book A Uto-Aztecan Comparative Vocabulary. Four preliminary editions of that book have been produced in limited numbers and have all been sold to Uto-Aztecanists and other interested persons. The next edition is in process to be completed in 2011. Until then, the mentioned parts of that book are made available on this website, though all 2650 cognate sets will be available only in the book A Uto-Aztecan Comparative Vocabulary (price to be listed when published). Besides UA materials, note that the mountain pictures on this website can be enlarged by clicking on them. (The pictures were taken by the author of the book and founder of the website, who loves, lives near, and walks the mountains, while studying languages.)
Items of interest for Uto-Aztecanists
Larry Hagberg passed away last May 11, 2010. A very good man and scholar of the Mayo language, Larry was an exceptional husband and father, authored many articles, and furthered the Mayo dictionary considerably, which a committee is continuing toward completion. He will be missed, and our sympathies to his widow and seven children, some still young.
The Next Friends of Uto-Aztecan Conference will be held in Blanding, Utah, sometime in June or July 2011.
A preliminary draft of White Mesa Ute, a dictionary of the White Mesa Ute dialect in southeastern Utah, has been completed and is being proofread by Native speakers and may be available in year or two.
Uto-Aztecan online materials and websites useful to Uto-Aztecanists
Ronald Langacker’s four volumes of Studies in UA Grammar (see bibliography for details) Overview of UA Grammar (1): http://www.sil.org/acpub/repository/21478.pdf Modern Aztecan Grammatical Sketches: http://www.sil.org/acpub/repository/15223.pdf NUA Grammatical Sketches (3): http://www.sil.org/acpub/repository/15222.pdf SUA Grammatical Sketches (4): http://www.sil.org/acpub/repository/18401.pdf
Uto-Aztecan: Structural, Temporal, and Geographic Perspectives, Casad and Willett, eds. http://www.books.google.com/books?isbn=9706890300