Cuadro descriptivo y comparativo de las lenguas indigenas de Mexico

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Author: Pimentel, Francisco (1823-1893)

Year: 1862-1865

Publisher: Imprenta de Andre Escalante

Place: Mexico City


2 Volumes. lii+395+[4] pages; vi+427 pages. Octavo (8 1/4" x 5 1/2") volume one rebound in red leather with gilt lettering to spine; volume two original quarter leather with gilt lettering to spine over marbled boards. First edition.

The first Mexican linguist worthy of this name is Francisco Pimentel, in the second half of the nineteenth century. He attempted to systematize what was known until then about the Indian languages of Mexico. His work is the starting-point for the development of a more scientific approach to linguistic studies on Mesoamerican languages. A scholar versed in European typology and comparative linguistic studies of the nineteenth century Pimentel is clearly indebted to his predecessor the Spaniard Lorenzo Hervas y Panduro, as well as Wilhelm von Humboldt, Friedrich Schlegel, Ernest Renan, Jacob Grimm and others. His work on linguistic classification in Mexico, unlike that of Orozco y Berra, was as up to date as that of any of his North American contemporaries. The second edition of Pimentel (1874) had considerable influence on subsequent opinion concerning the classification of native languages in Mexico and Mesoamerica generally, and his work was heeded by Powell and other scholars in North America. Pimentel claimed to be "the first to present a scientific classification of Mexican Indian languages based on comparative philology". He proposed several families that were accurate (as well as a few that were not so accurate), including Uto-Aztecan with nine subgroup members; Costeno with Mutsun; Mixe with Zoque; Mixtec, Zapoteco. Pimentel was relatively successful in his attempt to establish family relationships. Interestingly, his methods were those standard in European linguistic studies; in particular, he emphasized grammatical evidence but also utilized basic vocabulary. Although Pimentel favored grammatical evidence, he rejected the generally held notion of the time, maintained by most scholars since Duponeau, that all American Indian languages share the same morphological type.


Volume one. Tape repair to half title, rebound and trimmed. Volume two. spine ends and corners chipped, rubbing to edges, hinges and corners else a good set.

Kemper and Bilbury

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