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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The North American and north-eastern Siberian Arctic and Sub-Arctic contain a large contiguous area of highly polysynthetic languages belonging to three language families, Eskimo-Aleut, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, and Na-Dene. These contain some of the most extreme and yet diverse polysynthetic languages in the world; between them they cover three of the main sub-types of polysynthesis, respectively the suffixing-only, the noun-incorporating, and the templatic type. There has been contact influence between all three (especially between Eskimo and Chukotian), but they do not form a canonical language area as regards the diffusion of polysynthesis. The polysynthetic profile of the principal languages concerned is sketched, as well as those of somewhat less highly polysynthetic Aleut, Itelmen, and Tlingit.

Keywords: Arctic, Eskimo-Aleut, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Na-Dene, suffixing type, templatic type, incorporating type, language area

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