According to the latest authority, Dr. Truman Michelson, the languages of the great Algonkin family fall into four primary, substantially co-ordinate, but very unequal groups. Three of these are Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. The fourth, or Eastern-Central, comprises all the other dialects of the family. The Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and Arapaho were buffalo hunters in the open plains. The other tribes with scarcely an exception were timber people. It is erroneous, however, to look for an exact repetition of this primary cultural cleavage in the linguistic organization of the family. The Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tongues are as distinct from one another as from the remaining languages.
This fact had indeed been asserted, in so far as the imperfect evidence permitted opinion, before Dr. Michelson 's exact comparative studies, and has long rendered very improbable, at least as regards the Blackfoot and the Arapaho. the prevailing assumption, which is still largely current, that all the Plains Algonkin tribes are recent offshoots from the main body of the stock in the wooded region. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that wherever these tribes may originally have lived, they were not, for a long time past, close relatives and perhaps not even neighbors of the Cree, Ojibwa, or any other known Algonkin division. The recent brilliant discovery of Dr. E. Sapir that the far-away Yurok and Wiyot languages on the Pacific Coast of California are Algonkin proves that the history of this great assembly of tongues cannot be deduced by any offhand inference from recent habits of life or distribution of the Indian tribes involved. The writer believes that the Arapaho have been separated from the Central and Eastern Algonkin for more than a thousand years (adapted from part 1. Re-edition; originally published 1916 in Berkeley).
Contents: Part 1: Dialects of the Arapaho group. Part 2: Sketch of Arapaho proper. Part 3: Notes on Gros Ventre.
ISBN 9783969391808. LINCOM Americana 32. 74pp. 2023.