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Cecil H. Brown, David Beck, Grzegorz Kondrak, James K. Watters and Søren Wichmann
International Journal of American Linguistics
Vol. 77, No. 3 (July 2011), pp. 323-372
DOI: 10.1086/660972
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/660972
Page Count: 50
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This paper uses the comparative method of historical linguistics to investigate the hypothesis that languages of two well-established families of Mesoamerica, Totonacan and Mixe-Zoquean, are related in a larger genetic grouping dubbed Totozoquean. Proposed cognate sets comparing words reconstructed for Proto-Totonacan (PTn) and Proto-Mixe-Zoquean (PMZ) show regular sound correspondences attesting to the descent of these two languages from Proto-Totozoquean (PTz). Identification of sound correspondences facilitates reconstruction of PTz’s phonological inventory and vocabulary. The PMZ words used in the comparison are from Wichmann (1995). The PTn words are reconstructed by the authors, who provide the Totonacan cognate sets on which these reconstructions are based, as well as discussion of the classification and phonological history of Totonacan languages. Evidence is cited indicating that Totozoquean is comparable to Indo-European in chronological depth.

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