Esselen Studies: Language, Culture, and Prehistory
David Leedom Shaul
University of Colorado, Boulder & The University of Arizona
The Esselen language is an isolate within the Hokan phylum that was spoken in Monterey County (California) by five local tribes who formed a regional trade network. Preferred marriage was within each local tribe, except for chiefly families. There were two dialects, but each local tribe must maintained and negociated tribal identity with distrinctive speech. More extensive treatment is given of Esselen phonology and morphosyntax than any previous work on Esselen.
New information includes Esselen music, complete treatment of Esselen dialects (Western, Eastern), and the Hokan character of Esselen. Terrence Kaufman's seminal work on comparative Hokan allows for a better understanding of Esselen structure and linguistic prehistory. About 70% of the traceable Esselen morphemes have Hokan etymologies; the rest were borrowed from Uto-Aztecan, Utian, and Chumashan.
ISBN 9783862889860 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Native American Linguistics 83. 450pp. 2019.