A historical and anthropological overview of Inuit peoples through the study of language.
The Inuit occupy an immense area of land - from the easternmost tip of Russia, through Alaska and Canada, to Greenland. Inuit language, history, semantics, sociology, and anthropology show a variety of distinct characteristics in different parts of this vast area. Covering an equally impressive range, The Language of the Inuit is the most comprehensive study to date of the language and the forces that have affected its development.
The culmination of forty years of research, The Language of the Inuit maps the geographical distribution and linguistic differences between the Eskaleut and Inuit languages and dialects. Providing details about aspects of comparative phonology, grammar, and lexicon as well as Inuit prehistory and historical evolution, Louis-Jacques Dorais shows the effects of bilingualism, literacy, and formal education on Inuit language and considers its present status and future. An enormous task, masterfully accomplished, The Language of the Inuit is not only an anthropological and linguistic study of a language and the broad social and cultural contexts where it is spoken but a history of the language's speakers.