"Combined here are two classics on the nature of native languages of North America: Boas' famous 1911 essay pointing to new methods of research and Powell's pioneering 1891 work on classification." - "Scholarly Books in America". "Two cognate essays - the first by the world famous anthropologist Franz Boas, expounding his phonetic and grammatical principles in evaluating Indian languages, and the second by the first director of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology, John Wesley Powell, which classifies the various 'Amerindian' groups on the basis of language - though issued years ago as Bulletins of the Bureau of Ethnology - are still regarded as fundamental to all subsequent work on the subject." - "The World in Books". "Both works...are of immediate and continuing value, not only to students of linguistics but to all Americanists and anthropologists in general...it must be stressed that all...later work stems directly out of the pioneering papers here presented." - Preston Holder, in his preface.