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Indian Migrations, as Evidenced by Language

Comprising the Huron-Cherokee Stock, the Dakota Stock, the Algonkins, the Chahta-Muskoki Stock, the Moundbuilders, the Iberians
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Horatio Hale
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How far does the evidence of language, which is the final test, agree with that of' tradition? To answer this question we have to inquire which language, the Huron or the Iroquois, bears marks of being oldest in form, and nearest to the mother language, — or,_in other words, to the original huron-iroquois speech. Though we know nothing directly of this speech, yet, when we have several sister-tongues of any stock, we can always reconstruct, with more or less completeness, the original language from which they were derived; and we know, as a general rule, that among these sister-tongues, the one which is most complete in its form and in its phonology is likely to be nearest in structure, as well as in the residence of those who speak it, to this mother speech. Thus, if history told us noth ing on the subject, we should still infer that, among what are termed the Latin nations of Europe, the Italians were nearest to the mother people, — and, in like manner, that the original home of the Aryans was not among the Teutons or the Celts, but somewhere between the speakers of the Sanscrit and of the Greek languages.