Swampy's friend was a linguistics grad student and he did his thesis on Illinois, which is in the Algonquin family. One of its different characteristics was that it had proximate and obviate forms. Here is how they work:
Joe and John went to the river and he caught a fish.
In English, its impossible to know who the "he" refers to. Obviously, as it is closest to John many speakers would assume that it refers to John, but technically, it could be anyone.
So in Illinois, you "tag" the names with a proximate and obviate marker. You then mark the verb caught so the listener can figure out to whom the action refers.
Lonewolf, do you know any native languages?