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Indigenous Grammar Across Cultures

Hannes Kniffka

This book deals with various «indigenous» traditions of grammatical thought across the globe. Its main perspective is a cross-cultural sociolinguistic and anthropological linguistic account of «Indigenous Grammar». The concept (relating to Bruno Liebich’s term ‘Einheimische Grammatik’) is taken in its widest sense here to account for a continua of forms and ways of language-oriented research, various degrees of systematic reflection on language structure and use, the culture-specific ingredients of different grammatical «schools», linguistic and folk-linguistic speculation, language awareness, linguistic ideologies and similar endeavours. Some assumptions underlying the central hypotheses of this book are: – Linguistics, every grammatical description, has a strong cultural binding. – It is worthwhile to describe the culturally bound differences in a systematic fashion. – There are indigenous grammars and grammarians of entirely different denominations than what Western linguists are accustomed to dealing with. – A heuristic continua of indigenous grammar can be set up which is worth being studied by linguists in a cross-cultural comparative fashion.