At the time of European contact with Native communities, the Caddos
(who call themselves the Hasinai) were accomplished traders living
in the southern plains. Their communities occupied parts of
present-day Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. It was early
Spanish explorers who named a part of this territory "Texas,"
borrowing the Caddo word for "friend." Today there are
approximately thirty-five hundred Caddos, most of whom live in
Oklahoma. Their original language, which is related to the Plains
languages--Pawnee, Arikara, Kitsai, and Wichita--is rapidly dying
and is spoken only by a diminishing number of Caddo elders.
Drawing on interviews with Caddo speakers, tapes made by earlier
researchers, and written accounts, Lynette R. Melnar provides the
first full-length overview and analysis of Caddo grammar. Because
Caddo is an extremely complex language, Melnar's clear description
will be important to linguists in general as well as to those
specializing in Native languages. "Caddo Verb Morphology" is an
essential contribution to our understanding of the Caddos'
traditional world in particular and of Native America in
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