Chapter

Using Cognitive Semantics to Relate Mesa Verde Archaeology to Modern Pueblo Languages

Scott G. Ortman

in Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036076
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041780 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813036076.003.0007
Using Cognitive Semantics to Relate Mesa Verde Archaeology to Modern Pueblo Languages

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This chapter proposes a new method for relating protolanguages to archaeological complexes based on the cognitive process known as conceptual metaphor. Material metaphors of the people who created archaeological complexes can be deciphered from patterns in material culture that conform to empirical generalizations on figurative speech in everyday language use. The metaphors of proto-languages can also be reconstructed through etymology, polysemy, and semantic change across cognates in a language family. As a result, archaeological complexes can be related to protolanguages using conceptual metaphors as the common currency. A case study that links Mesa Verde archaeology to the Tewa pueblo language is presented to illustrate the utility of this approach.

Keywords: archaeology; linguistics; migration; conceptual metaphor; U.S. Southwest

Chapter.  12274 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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