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Synopsis

Have you ever driven through a small town with an intriguing name like Wyandotte or Cuyamungue and wondered where that name came from? Or how such well-known placenames as Tucson, Waco, or Tulsa originated?

Native American placenames like these occur all across the American Southwest. This user-friendly guide—covering Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas—provides fascinating information about the meaning and origins of southwestern placenames. With its unique regional approach and compact design, the handbook is especially suitable for curious travelers.

Written by distinguished linguist William Bright, the handbook is organized alphabetically, and its entries for places—including towns, cities, counties, parks, and geographic landmarks—are concise and easy to read. Entries give the state and county, along with all available information on pronunciation, the name of the language from which the name derives, the name’s literal meaning, and relevant history.In their introduction to the handbook, editors Alice Anderton and Sean O’Neill provide easy-to-understand pronunciation keys for English and Native languages. They further explain basic linguistic terminology and common southwestern geographical terms such as mesa, canyon, and barranca.

The book also features maps showing all counties in each of the southwestern states, a list of Native languages and language families, and contact information for tribal headquarters throughout the Southwest.

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