Likely to become one of the classic works in Amerindian linguistics, this book presents a comprehensive grammar of Sarcee, an Athapaskan language spoken in southern Alberta. Based on the voluminous notes collected by Edward Sapir in 1922 and supplemented by extensive data from Cook's own work with the few remaining speakers of Sarcee, the book not only deals with all major areas of linguistic structure but also offers insights into linguistic changes which have occurred during this century.
Primarily descriptive, with numerous examples drawn from text materials to support claims about grammatical structure or rule, the book also contains many accounts of Sarcee and Athapaskan data which bear significantly on current theoretical issues. Although the over-all approach is generative transformational, the material is presented in contemporary analytical and descriptive terminology.
Preceded by an introduction defining the orthographic conventions and abbreviations used throughout the book, the following chapters are devoted to a thorough discussion of syntax, phonology, and morphology. The chapters on syntax constitute the only in-depth presentation of such material for any northern Athapaskan language.
A major documentation of the geographically and linguistically important Sarcee language, this book will be welcomed by scholars in Athapaskan studies as well as by linguists in general as a significant contribution to the general knowledge of language and linguistic theory.
Eung-Do Cook is a professor of linguistics at the University of Calgary.