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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) of North America was home to a linguistic area, or Sprachbund, on par with other well known linguistic areas around the world, such as the Balkans, South India, and the Pacific Northwest. Languages of the LMV Sprachbund included Siouan (Biloxi, Ofo) and Muskogean (Choctaw-Chickasaw) languages and four isolates (Atakapa, Chitimacha, Natchez, Tunica). These languages shared certain phonological, morphosyntactic, and lexicosemantic features. The LMV was also home to an indigenous pidgin, the Mobilian Trade Language, or Mobilian Jargon. For this chapter, I have examined grammars and vocabularies of these languages not only to identify the LMV as a Sprachbund but also to discern something about ancient trade and migration routes and patterns ca. 500–1700 CE.

Keywords: Mississippi Valley, Muskogean, Atakapa, Tunica, Chitimacha, Natchez, Ohio Valley Siouan

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