This introductory chapter starts with a brief discussion of the challenges connected with describing and analyzing an extinct language, as well as problems having to do with the relationship between written sources and theories of internalized grammar. It then goes on to situate the language geographically and historically. The sources used are presented, and their philological quality is discussed. The basic features of the descriptive framework, generative grammar, are presented with a focus on those elements that are relevant for the present description.
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