Beginning in the 1790s, the American Philosophical Society began to accumulate vocabularies and texts written in Native American languages, guided by Thomas Jefferson's idea of using comparative linguistics to reconstruct the histories of Indian peoples and discern their origins. The American Indian Vocabularies Collection was initially assembled by the Historical and Literary Committee of the APS for publication in 1816. They include information on seventeen North American languages and one each from the Caribbean and Central America, collected between 1784 and 1828. A number of individuals were invovled in recording the vocabularies, including Benjamin Hawkins, William Thornton, David Campbell, Daniel Smith, Constantine Volney, Constantine Rafinesque, William Vans Murray, John Heckewelder, Martin Duralde, Campanius Holm, and Jefferson himself. Most followed the standardized word set established by Jefferson.
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Atacapas language | Butrick, Daniel S. | Cherokee language | Chickasaw language | Chippewa language | Choctaw language | Chontal language | Creek language | Delaware language | Indians of North America -- Languages | Kells, Richard | Language Material | Language and Linguistics | Lexica | Linguistics | Massachusett language | Miami language (Ind. and Okla.) | Micmac language | Mohegan language | Munsee language | Nanticoke language | Native America | Native American Materials | Osage language | Quapaw language | Quinnipiac language | Smith, Daniel, 1748-1818 | Taino language | Thornton, William (1759-1828) | Unquachog language | Volney, C.-F. (Constantin François), 1757-1820 | Zeisberger, John, 1721-1808