Guide to the Comparative Athabaskan Collection


The extensive Comparative Athabaskan collection is currently being cataloged. The container list displays just a few sample items. Thank you for your patience. [February 2, 2010]

Scope and Content Note

Although titled "Comparative Athabaskan" for the sake of brevity, this section includes comparative works involving also Eyak, Tlingit, and Haida (although the last is no longer considered to be related to the others).

This catalogue is intended to supplement, rather than to supersede, the excellent and invaluable bibliographical work of Pilling (1885, 1896), Parr (1974) and Pinnow (1976). Works have been included in this Comparative Athabaskan section if they deal with Athabaskan languages and/or Eyak and/or Tlingit with explicit consideration of their common genetic heritage, with or without explicit reconstruction of a proto-language. Furthermore, a study of even a single Athabaskan language may be included if it has been done explicitly from the point of view of the language's historical development from Proto-Athabaskan. (This would exclude, for example, Li's Chipewyan grammatical sketch of 1946, but would include his book on Mattole; it would exclude Hoijer's Galice stemlist but would include his sketch of Hare phonology.)

The bibliography usually does not include works on the possible relationships of Na-Dene to other language families, either North American or Asiatic (early work such as that of Campbell, Petitot, or later of Swadesh or Shafer; these are all described especially in Pinnow 1976, and noted in Krauss 1973); included here, however, is Sapir's 1920-25 ledger and correspondence with Laufer on Sino-Tibetan and Na-Dene, because it is systematic, extensive, and particularly because, it is unpublished and is not noted in other bibliographies.

This section does not include Athabaskan and further glottochronological papers (e.g. those of Hymes, Swadesh, Milke, and Kroeber, also fully listed in Krauss 1973), or certain specialized work on kin terms (e.g. of Kroeber, Driver, and Hymes); it does however list the basic works in both these subjects by Hoijer (1956a, b).

The section does not include non-comparative or non-historical work on Haida, Tlingit, Eyak, or single Athabaskan languages, or comparative work at the purely dialectal level within a single language; these are listed under the appropriate language in the rest of the catalogue. It also does not usually include works comparative within a single non-Northern Athabaskan region (i. e. Apachean or PCA, thus excluding Hoijer's important work of 1942-49, comparative but strictly within Apachean); although it does include certain works on limited northern regions (e.g. Howren's on the Mackenzie, Golla's on Tagish-Tahltan-Kaska, Story's Babine-Carrier-Chilcotin, and large Alaskan regions by Krauss and Kari).

The bibliography further excludes parallel wordlists of several languages which are simply juxtaposed unless there is at least some comparative or genetic commentary with them. Finally, it does not include non-linguistic work: historical, ethnological, or archaeological, dealing only language externally with relationships or movements or present status (e.g. Dumond, some of Harrington, Chafe's population estimates). Much of this has also been covered in Parr 1974.

We have made a particular effort to document unpublished materials by key persons in Comparative Athabaskan studies, especially Sapir and Li. Furthermore, it is natural that our own Alaskan work looms large in the collection, if only because these are most readily available to us.

[from Krauss & McGary 1980]