Tracks That Speak

Tracks That Speak

The Legacy of Native American Words in North American Culture

Book - 2002
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What do the words saguaro, parka, hickory, and muskrat have in common? They all come from Native American languages. Few people consider how deeply American English is indebted to Native Americans and how widely the contributions of Native Americans are used in English today. In Tracks That Speak, Charles L. Cutler offers seventy fascinating studies, each focusing on a particular word borrowed from a Native American language. He tells us about the words themselves and about the things they stood?and stand?for, illuminating not only the roles these things played in traditional Indian societies but also the ones they continue to play in America today. For example, Cutler explains where the word moccasin comes from, how moccasins were made and decorated, what advantages they had for their wearers, how and when they were adopted by European settlers, and what incarnations of them can be found in modern clothing catalogs. Such a wealth of historical, ethnographic, and linguistic material on Native American loanwords in English has never before been gathered and presented so clearly, making Tracks That Speak as engaging as it is informative.

Baker & Taylor
An intriguing examination of the cultural impact of Native Americans on the English language provides a wealth of interesting studies that focus on a particular word borrowed from a Native American language, revealing what the word means, the role it played in traditional Indian societies, and its role in America today. Simultaneous.

Book News
Chipmunk, kayak, toboggan, husky, terrapin, skunk, parka, and numerous other words ensconced in the English language owe their origins to Native American culture. The author lists some 80 of those words and explains their origins, often including related historical anecdotes and current issues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., [2002]
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9780618065103
Branch Call Number: 422.4 Cutler 2002
Characteristics: xiii, 255 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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