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Native American Place-Names of Indiana

A linguistic history of Native American place-names in Indiana

In tracing the roots of Indiana place-names, Michael McCafferty focuses on those created and used by local Native Americans. Drawing from exciting new sources that include three Illinois dictionaries from the eighteenth century, the author documents the language used to describe landmarks essential to fur traders in Les Pays d'en Haut and settlers of the Old Northwest territory. Impeccably researched, this study details who created each name, as well as when, where, how and why they were used. The result is a detailed linguistic history of lakes, streams, cities, counties, and other Indiana names. Each entry includes native language forms, translations, and pronunciation guides, offering fresh historical insight into the state of Indiana.


"Historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and members of the public with passionate interest in these fields will find this book enormously valuable."--Journal of Folklore Research

“This is an important book and should not be missed by anyone interested in Native American studies or Midwest history.”--Journal of Illinois History

"A masterpiece of the scholarly reference book genre."--American Reference Books Annual

"This book is an outstanding contribution that is useful and enjoyable to anyone interested in Indiana place names. It is by far the most detailed historical study of its topic, and the only linguistic study. The scholarship is extremely meticulous, and much archival data is published here for the first time."--William Bright, author of Native American Placenames of the United States


Michael McCafferty is an Algonquian and Uto-Aztecan linguist on the faculty of the department of second language studies at Indiana University.

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