Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/516

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PSM V78 D516 North american inuit algonquin and athabascan language map.png

branched off at about the same time as the Arapaho, it is clear that they have been distinct from them ever since.

Conservatism of Indian Languages

It has often been said that the languages of Indians and other uncivilized peoples, in fact all languages that are not fixed by writing, change very rapidly. It has been declared that in the course of a generation or two such idioms alter to an extent that men could not understand the talk of their grandfathers, and that in consequence a very few centuries would suffice to alter the features of a language bo thoroughly that its original relationship with kindred languages could no longer be ascertained. All such statements are utterly wild, and there is a mass of evidence to contradict them.

Immediately after the Spanish conquest the Aztec language was