Building upon the best tradition of missionary-inspired descriptive linguistic work fostered in connection with Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) activities, editors Desmond Derbyshire and Geoffrey Pullum launched HAL during the mid1980s as a means of attracting scholarly attention to one of the world's most persistently ignored linguistic areas. With the appearance of Vol. 4, HAL coverage of the Amazon now increases to three typological studies, four historical-comparative analyses, and ten grammatical descriptions of languages belonging to eight different genetic groupings. Unfortunately, this tally barely begins to approach exhaustive coverage of the region, since the rain forests of South America are home to at least 300 languages divided among about 20 families and two dozen isolates. Nevertheless, given the spate of new publications on Amazonian languages over the past decade, many by linguists with SIL affiliation or who were inspired by exposure to earlier volumes of HAL, the series has clearly achieved the goal of drawing the serious attention of a growing number of linguists to the Amazon.
Vajda, Edward J., "Review of: Handbook of Amazonian Languages" (2001). Modern & Classical Languages. 45.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Indians of South America--Brazil--Languages; Amazon River Region--Languages
Amazon River Region--Languages; Brazil