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    SUNY Albany University ofPittsburgh

    Troum.C. Surrr-SrenrColegio de Mxico

    MESO.AMERICA AS A LINCUISTIC AREALy-CnpaBLr. TnnxcrKeuru^lx

    MESO.AMERICA AS A LINOUISTIC AREA 53IMany attribute the formar birth of AL to Trubetzkoy's famous proposition

    t6, presenred at rhe First Internationar congrewof r."irirt|, iisii;i,'Gruppcn, bcstchcnd us s-prachcn, dic cinc grossc Ahnrichkcit in ryntaktischer Hinslcht, cinc' Ahnchkcit in den Grundsdtzcn oei morpt ot-ogisiiin 'iu,

    "ur*oscn, und cinc grossc Anzhrgcmeinsamcr Kurturwrt* bictcn, ,"nd*"r-.r.lirrr.iAhnrichkeit im Bcstandc d* [ur.systeme-dabcr abcr kcinc gcmcrnsmcn Eremcnrarworrii u.rtr.n_roili;;;#;"xerxtx wrn SprAcHEfrNDE., (cmphasis in original)

    Trubetzkoy's ler.m .sprachbund, roughly a ,union of tanguages,, came to beused as a technical term-in Engtish. ft" n"r. ilin" ;;;a'' ,';r""trans.lation of Sprachbund,-yj.rt .nployuJ y Vei-ten tgl, anj;;';d"w.ell known by Emeneau 1956. Trubetzkoli:zll_l crplieJei;;"-dilional

    .diatect geography, but with ;roirrrJ

    "r,.r,-"ii!"J b;; il.boundaries of a single tanguage. This viJw oil,, ,, "in

    6 th;i;;ir;;,ch.aracterizing crossJanguage ri-nguistic g.ugruphy it common in.rater riterature(cf. Jakobson 1931, l93g). .qrw rwrorur.

    tenance-; in this papcr, howcvcr,-altcntion is restrictcy' to AL, wc can thus, we bcricvc, attain ourgoals of examining the rcsurts of ranguage "onr".t

    *ii.h .i.ic a ringuistic arca, without gcttiJilost in thc details of rhe mcchanisms-whlch pro*"J'iiir" ,.Lftr.. In th.i! conrcxtr cctain rcrcvsnt but rcsr rmporrint rtrJii."i u.,.ntioncd. somc usc rhe rcrm'areal lnguisticr'or'arca ringuirticr'in rhc ensc oii"ri"i'g'.og."ptry wirtrin a iiiglc-r.is;a"(cf' Kurath l9?2, Goocn t973)i rhir u,ge rr nor *rir.iil-ir,. conccmr ofrhrr prper, A3ain,the telian'nconngurrrrc'rchool i ccr" trrciii.ci*oi o-*uo*.;;r;;;?J;;;ii;"dcrcrrninc, rt has conrriburcd norhing ncw r" rt. ;n1ifi. filii "i"",-roi, ro ri;;;iJr. s*;;ilysccms morivarcd bv an extremirr rc-ac.rion alainsr n.oj."nir.rr"n sound lails, ;r,l*iijiJ"isch-uchardt scc spitzer 1922) andGifliron cc Gilrin d noiu.. r9l2). se Berroni t9l r, I92j,19-25, Brrtoli rgzs, r92E, 1929, r933a,b, rc'9, rnJ Bonl",,r.-icis, tg*licf. arso Hrlr 1946.

    'W. do.not wish ro russclr rh.t.rhc arudy of areal phcnole; ;,;;;.,ri"r. **,considcrations havc bccn wirh ur almost fro.q rhc igiriiis-;i rh. rJ'*rr ,iry oiiig,.go-(.f.Kopitar 1E57, who mdc somc Barkn u.at rc"turcii.io*i;,cc "rro

    Mikrosich tE6t, sandferdP]^9L_Y,_.-n:ll,ciamploned.rhe vicw! thar rhcre erc io iiig.osopirrcar boundaics bcrwecnIanguages' and hat langusSe mxturc occru; hc antcdrtcd Schmidt lETi as thc uthor of rc ;*a""thcory'.(Wctten-hypothcse; scc Spirzer lCZti: eS, aii.

    -- --""'. Dcvclopmcnrs in thc srudy ofAmcrican rndian ranjuagcs arso ptaycd en rmport8ni rorc. powc[ .bccamc o caughr up rn drfrusionim rhrr r-rhrcarc;cdio pirinrii, r-.'triiiig ii'8*;"rcrms, causins hrfir ro doubr hr o,wn crascifrcarron (cf. powcli trgll Ixo,iri'iil"d;i;,ll::t-o"."b'jily to scp-aratc rhc cfrecr ofgcneric iri,",rt"n".iror difrusion arc echocd in wokoy Eoas, Dy Drxon &, Krocbcr, and ro 80me

    _cxtcnt by sapir. whire Boas and sapi*pp"r.n,ivhcld similar view bout borrow.cd -strucrurat

    r..ir*r r ...,.;#fihril "iH: lffiil,i:;bccamc quite porarizcd toward t920, in what ii

    ""* r-i.i'"rr rput" (p"rni[ & il;;iir,lo": yr skcpticat abour rhc porsibilitv of disringuishinlrr,.r.i i"ir"rii., ,r.rriiro, ,i*-tural difluion from those rcsulting from.gcn.ti.-rcl"tionslp; *hilc Sepir, by .;;i, ;; ;bclicvc that the cffectr of borrowinl, parriirrarty in morp-r,o-l'ogy, *our *";.ioJih, ;;rvicws prcvailcd in Amcrica' nd utiqu.nt rrui oiA"i.Jiiii'nai"n r"nguas* war charecrcrizrdby much rcductionim ln tho numbcr f portuler. t *iil;;;. Bo, rcewtronr wcrc rrmolrf]lll fo$ottcn ln Amedca, but ecclv_cd ittcntion n-gr.pc,'wicr. they mrkcdlrlnfl;;;*d ;Praguc schoor-(s-cc Trubelzkoy r93 t, Jakoblon rpa, riaaifr;iiioi., ni"r.rr ico'rniJ" A;;;;(Emcncau [9561 I980:t07).''

    _An important part ofthc Amcrican baekgrorrnd it the arcautypological approach charactcrlsticof Dixon & Kroeber t903, r9r3-practiccd iarry arso br so"s

    "ia s"pir-i" *nr"r, ,0 i.r.Jpii"ii

    of lndividual languagcs includcd ryporogrcat cmprrins-with-itho, rrngr"g", "r "

    g"8iii;iJregion (cf. Kroebcr lgft:t7-tS; pirncli& shcrzir t97l). -

    Thet Meso'Amcrics constitutes.e tegirimate ringuistic arca has bccn qucstioncd. Toaddress rhir qucstion, conceprcof '"..it ringuirr'i'J;;-hcre survcycd nd refincd. pro.poscd Mcso'Amcricn areal trail. ac rcconiid.ii "g"iir

    thcce findrngs, and are com-parcd wth thosc of other.estabrishcd linguistic "-r"ir.'"ro.er"rica prov, to be aparticularly strong linguistic area, Thcse r;lt, ;il. borh to thc tudy of Mcso-Arhcrlcn lanSuaScr nd ro n unacrctanulnj oi areai' iin-guirt., g*iirivl-,

    In recent years it has been proposed that Meso_America (henceforth MA)_defined basicaily as a curture.areaexl.nine iro "rntr"l

    rtl.i.oir,r*rr, "*r,.ern central America-is. a ringuistic ...".Tr," itt attempts at characterizing

    i!:ljiri,":*,,uffi*ffiHm,rj1,*::,:;H[*iffi l:Io:.lt!t. I98 I ) ;,ndverthel:s^sr -doubtgrr

    -

    I*'.*p."s sed (cf. Hamp I 979,Hol t & -B

    ri gF'f 976, s u re z te)--{me r, "u.

    i r,ouerit t di il l; il r', iei r,well-defined area in rhe-senst ott ..s,".o!ni'ieJ in the lii.;il;;, ;;h=;,the Balkans bFS6*Asia,-uut rattrei maf -u?".-orpor.o of scvcrar smailcr,regionally defined areas (cf. Hamp I979). prt"i,o"ron, ourprimary purposehere.is to investigate MA in detail f.o a""r..iri.*pint. il;*;;;r: ;;-termine MA's status requires us first to .r.iiv-the nature and definition ofringuistic.areas in g.nrr. w.;ii';;',h-i"'ioi-r, and then rerurn to thecharacteristics of MA in 4.. 1' Drrrxr,oN op Anel LrNcursrrcs. As broadry conceived, AL dears withthe results of the diffusion of slructural r.rtu.",

    ".r, ingrrti. uour"ii.r.As. commonly viewed, ringuistic areas are ctraracierizea by ;il;;-guistic featu^res shared by various I"nguages:s;e of wfrici;*,;.;;;are from differenr subgroups.within ;fa;ily_in a geograptri"iriry .i""iigrli,area. The phenomena ofthe ringuisti"

    "r." r" arso icrJrrc i"

    "iirr.r"vi.terms 'convergence area', .Sprahbund', .amnite nguistique,, .diffusion area.,'adstratum' etc.' However, when it comes t ,orJpr..ru rnniionr, ti,r*is considerable controversy concerning just *f,"ief. r.

    ' ws wish to thart wifliam Brighr and sarah G. Thomason for herpfur commcnrs on carriervcrsions of this paper; bur we do nir r."n to rpiv ,h;i il;;';r ncccasarry in agreemenr wirhour usc of rhcir starcmcnrs. wc rso ccknowt.i.',i niiit'rto . rnrorig"..iJiiii"rirliil,univridad Nacional Aurnoma dc Mcxico, for privi.jlyr'i t",npu", rhc opportuniry to cn8scin full'timc cearch in rgEr-82, durrng wtrrch timc h; i-r;il;;r..r"h for rhr, pep.r end wrorcup preliminarv vcrion. Tcrrcncc.Raifmn end rloi"iiiiirr"surr r,"* .,,"l,i"tljii" "rigriilanulcript and mdc various additions to lt, Thus the lisi ii"rnoru rcfrect not onry srphabcticatordcr, bur rcrative inpur ro rhc finar prouct, wc thrce ari-oi,

    "ii'in .rr.iir"i;;.;;;;;hBthc argumcnts and conclusions.

    l.A.reat picnomena erc, ro r greatcr or tcsscr dcgrce, rcratcd to such othcr arcas of study asmultilngualism, substrara, supcrirrata, tinguiic giolrariry, i""i*.g,.n rrner.girh oii'..530

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    5]2 LANCUACE, VOLUME 62, NUMtsER 3 (1986)

    ^f*,:li:lI;i#.':i} ff*lfJ i,;X'. ;ny pertai ni ng to s tud ies or nari ve

    'A 'rxousc lnEr is dcfincd.herc .s.an are, in which ssvenrl ringuistic trsirs arc sharcd bythe languagcs of rhc arca.ad tin *r,cr, iurriir;;;:;"r. is cvidencc (tinguictic and non-linguistic) that contacl bre.cnrion orrhcse i, #.l1h"diT:T:,]li.,HTffi:;,T[XTf",1l,l}li,rr,,i,,ifli:iIt is imporranr ro r.mcmbcr rt

    "r ii"eu"s; i';i.i?r.-*r"," o, ri"ii'Li'"'r.;;;.rywctt and probabty do disagrec wirh.r;s", ao ,;;;;;'l,"li"i ,',ilii.jilil;;:lHl.,[,i"area according to rh abovc dcfnirion-, since thlsi.i. Jrr.*^. r,"r (which one might wantto call diagnostic traits),'

    Issues over which opinion has been divided incrude the number ofisogrossesrequired to define a LA, and whether n.y ruri'Lurdte-or whether a singreisogloss is suflicient. For some._schot.rr,'iroglos._U*Otrlt ii"r;,i:f.Trubetzkov r93rt234t sherzer.r973:io; ri".ii""lc76tr79i .*atz r975tr2, 16;Holt & Brisht t9?6: Emeneau tgso:zr. e;i-J.sr, r"* havc insisted on thebundting criterion. Manv view Ai ;;;;;;;irronat diatectotogv, whcreisogtosses frequenrry faito grouf-ah;';;]ur are found more concen.trated around somc core witour;bru;tuorniitr-"nd where rhe xtensionof individual isoglosses ourward from the;;;;;y vary greatly (cf. Emeneautl965bl re',:r28, 136; Ramanuja" .ri..lsoi3io; wr,r, 1973; r40; Masica197 6:6, 170-7 l, I 79; Hendersn ls.osi ; Jlr.r'', rrO. Moreover, fottowingthe analogy of dialectology, some linguiss trav!'noted that isoglosses of oneLA may cross those orant!9r (.f. ,;k;;;;'ilii,tgt,Becker r948r23, Wein_reich I eSE : 378-e, Winter. tsz 1t i!0, ;;J ii;;;;; 7 6:24).

    ::ii:t",r,,I#[itlli!Tr[":l*![l,Jtf .il,1[:*;m::j]fiishare any diffused or convcrgent structuial fatures, even a singlc trait. ThusMasica (r72) views a singre-"r." i'eiorr'i, tti'"i"irii, lii-iiii""i,irl,'Linguistic areas are apprentry pr,.""r."u oi'oin 4e magnitudes, starting1..^"1t !l! limiting case, the 1g-a !!n9O y u ,nst" toit;"f. -riir,t? il;,1976:236, Trubetzkoy l93t:345,,1.toU*llli,liil. xur, makes a singte, syn-chronic isogloss the basis of nis ennio " iiilr'-"'Von cinem Sprachbund ksnn man sprcchcn, wcnn:

    (a) zu cincr gcgcbcncn Zeit(b) cin zusmmcnhn