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Contents: Introduction: The California Mosaic. Part I: California Languages at Work and Play: Four Portraits. Song: Overcoming the Language Barrier. Coyote Talk. Upriver, Downriver: The Vocabulary of Direction. Language and the Structure of Thought. Part II: Language and History. Language Families. What Language Can Tell Us About History. Native Californian Names on the Land. History Through the Words Brought to California by the Fort Ross Colony. Part III: Words. California Counting. Specialized Vocabulary in the Languages of California. "Slapping with the Mouth" and Other Interesting Words: Instrumental Prefixes in Kashaya. Men's and Women's Talk. Songs Without Words. Part IV: Language and Dominion. On the Origin of California Tribal Names. A Pinenut by Any Other Name. Languages Under Attack. The Native American Languages Act. Part V: Keeping the Languages Alive. Ashes, Ashes: John Peabody Harrington--Then and Now. Writing Systems. Language Action in California. Rebuilding the Fire. Afterword: Linguists and the California Languages.