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Tepimans, Yumans, and Other Hohokam

  • David Leedom Shaul (a1) and Jane H. Hill (a2)
Abstract

The Proto-Tepiman speech community—that is, the community that spoke the language ancestral to all the contemporary Tepiman languages—can be located at the northern end of the present-day Tepiman range, perhaps as far north and west as the Gila-Colorado confluence, and probably within the Hohokam region, during the Hohokam time period in the first millennium A.D. Evidence for the northern location of Proto-Tepiman includes, first, attestation of language contact with Proto-River Yuman, including data from phonology, syntax, and lexicon. This evidence suggests that the Hohokam were a multi-ethnic community; we present evidence that by the fourteenth century this multi-ethnic system probably included speakers of Zuni. Second, the greatest internal diversity in Tepiman is among the northernmost varieties. Third, we can reconstruct a word meaning “saguaro cactus,” a plant not found south of Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, for Proto-Tepiman. While the linguistic evidence strongly suggests the involvement of the Proto-Tepiman speech community in the Hohokam system, the evidence provided by contemporary Upper Piman languages (Akimel O’odham [Pima] and Tohono O’odham [Papago]) neither confirms nor excludes the involvement of speakers of these languages in the core Hohokam complex in the late prehistoric period.

Résumé

La comunidad de habla prototepimana—es decir, la comunidad de hablantes del idioma antecesor a los idiomas contemporáneos tepimanos—puede ubicarse en el extremo norte de la distributión actual de estos idiomas, y probablemente dentro de la región donde se encuentra evidencia de habitatión hohokam, durante la época asignada a esta manifestatión arqueológica. Evidencia de la ubicación propuesta incluye el contacto lingüístico entre prototepimanas y protoyumanos ribereños. Tal evidencia sugiere que los hohokam fueron una manifestatión multiétnica. Argumentamos que esta comunidad multiétnica incluyó no solamente tepimanos y yumanos, sino también hablantes del zuni en el siglo XIV. Además presentamos evidencia de una diversidad lingüística más compleja en los idiomas tepimanos norteños que en los sureños, y la reconstructión en el prototepimano de una palabra que se refiere al cacto gigante “Saguaro,” el cual no se encuentra más al sur de Ciudad Obregón, Sonora. Mientras que la evidencia sugiere una participatión de hablantes del prototepimano en el sistema hohokam, los datos sobre los idiomas contemporáneos de la Pimería Alta (ákimel ó’odham [pima] y tóhono ó;'odham [pápago]) ni niegan ni apoyan la posibilidad de que hablantes de estos idiomas participaran en el complejo nuclear hohokam durante los últimos días de la prehistoria.

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References
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American Antiquity
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