Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 55, no. 2 (2016)

Figure from Tom Hoogervorst's Problematic Protoforms: 1) Indian śula (after Bunce 1975:278); 2) Javanese suligi (after Raffles 1817:appendix);" "3) Javanese baḍik (ibidem)."
Figure from Tom Hoogervorst’s Problematic Protoforms: 1) Indian śula (after Bunce 1975:278); 2) Javanese suligi (after Raffles 1817:appendix);”
“3) Javanese baḍik (ibidem).”

Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 55, No. 2 includes the following works:


  • The Plural Marker in Kove, an Oceanic Language of Papua New Guinea by Hiroko Sato
  • Conditioned Sound Changes in the Rapanui Language: by Albert Davletshin
  • Semantic Verb Classes and Regularity of Voice Paradigms in Tagalog by Sergei B. Klimenko and Divine Angeli P. Endriga
  • Bride-price, Baskets, and the Semantic Domain of “Carrying” in a Matrilineal Society by Deborah Hill
  • Imperatives and Commands in Manambu by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
  • …and more

IN Memoriam

  • Ann Chowning, 1929-2016


  • Rob van Albada and Th. Pigeaud’s Javaans-Nederlands Woodenboek reviewed by Stuart Robson
  • Joel Bradshaw reviews Karl Neuhaus’s Grammar of the Lihir Language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 55, no. 2 (2016)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 55, no. 1 (2016)

The location of languages of Timor, Map1 from the Oceanic Linguistics vol. 55 no. 1 article, “Parallel Sound Correspondences in Uab Meto” by Owen Edwards.

ARTICLES in Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 55, No. 1:

  • Time as Space Metaphor in Isbukun Bunun: A Semantic Analysis by Shuping Huang
  • Pluractionality in Ranmo by Jenny Lee
  • Parallel Sound Correspondences in Uab Meto by Own Edwards
  • Indirect Possessive Hosts in North Ambrym: Evidence for Gender by Michael Franjieh
  • Raising out of CP in Mod-Asp Adverbial Verb Constructions in Amis by Yi-Ting Chen
  • The Noun-Verb Distinction in Kanakanavu and Saaroa: Evidence from Pronouns by Stacy F. Teng and Elizabeth Zeitoun
  • Reassessing the Position of Kanakanavu and Saaroa among the Formosan Languages by Elizabeth Zeitoun and Stacy F. Teng
  • Magi: An Undocumented Language of Papua New Guinea by Don Daniels
  • On the Development of the Lexeme aya in Paiwan by Fuhui Hsieh
  • Kelabit-Lun Dayeh Phonology, with Special Reference to the Voiced Aspirates by Robert Blust
  • Reviews by Victoria Chen, Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, Gary Holton, and Tyler Heston

Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 55, no. 1 (2016)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 54, no. 2 (2015)

View of the Constellation Mannap, Figure 1 from the Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 54 No. 2 article, "East is Not a 'Big Bird': The Etymology of the Star Altair in the Carolinian Sidereal Compass by Gary Holton, Calistus Hachibmai, Ali Halelayur, Jerry Lipka, and Donald Rubenstein.
View of the Constellation Mannap, Figure 1 from the Oceanic Linguistics vol. 54 no. 2 article, “East is Not a ‘Big Bird’: The Etymology of the Star Altair in the Carolinian Sidereal Compass” by Gary Holton, Calistus Hachibmai, Ali Halelayur, Jerry Lipka, and Donald Rubenstein.

Special this issue: In Memoriam

The new issue details the lives of two brilliant linguists. Robert Blust pays tribute to George William Grace (1921-2015), who became editor of the journal in 1962 and held the editorship for 30 years. Blust writes:

George Grace was never flashy, never one who sought out recognition, but he saw through the grand schemes of others who had greater ambition, rather like the little boy who saw what the emperor was really wearing, and stated it in plain language. He will be remembered for his broad knowledge of Oceanic languages, his trailblazing originality as a thinker, and his rock solid insights into the nature of language change.

Andrew Paley remembers Frantisek (Frank) Lichtenberk (1945-2015), who died in a train accident in Auckland this Spring, after a 40-year career of outstanding contributions to descriptive and comparative-historical research on Oceanic languages. Paley details Lichtenberk’s “rich legacy of achievements and good memories” in the issue. Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 54, no. 2 (2015)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 54, no. 1 (2015)


Finiteness in Sundanese
Eri Kurniawan, William D. Davies, 1
The topic of finiteness is rarely broached in the closely related Indonesian-type languages, in which verbs have no morphological tense marking, nouns have no overt case marking, and there is only limited morphological agreement. As they are the typical morphological manifestations, the relevance of finiteness is difficult to discern. Sundanese is no exception to this. There is evidence, however, that finiteness is critical to the licensing of subjects in Sundanese. What distinguishes Sundanese from many other languages is that finiteness is covert rather than being overtly marked, just as has been proposed for Chinese, Lao, Slave, and others.

Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 54, no. 1 (2015)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 53, no. 2 (2014)


Complex Noun Phrases and Formal Licensing in Isbukun Bunun
Hsiao-hung Iris Wu, 207

This paper investigates the syntactic status of nominal modifiers in Isbukun Bunun, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan. In Isbukun Bunun, nominal modifiers such as possessors, adjectives, demonstratives, and relative clauses precede the head noun they modify, and they may or must be linked to the head noun by an associative marker tu. Based on the observed NP-ellipsis facts and the formal licensing condition, I argue that the associative marker tu is a complementizer, and the structure it introduces should be accommodated under the adjunction analysis, whereas various existing alternative complementation approaches that view tu as a head selecting the modified phrase as its complement fail to capture the noted properties regarding ellipsis.
Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 53, no. 2 (2014)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 52, no. 2 (2013)


On the Analysis of Tone in Mee (Ekari, Ekaugi, Kapauku)
Larry M. Hyman and Niko Kobepa, 307

In this paper we present the tonal properties of Mee, a Wissel Lakes Papuan language known also as Ekari, Ekagi, and Kapauku. Since the previous accounts in the literature have been highly inadequate, allowing contradictory claims of tone, pitch-accent, and/or stress, we document the word-prosodic system and show that it is quite simple: Mee words can have a pitch drop from H to L either after the first mora or the second mora of the word. Corresponding to this simplicity, however, is a wide range of compatible interpretations. We consider how several analyses fare with respect to noun tone patterns, as well as verb tones, which are partly determined by the verb root, partly by inflectional features. From a typological perspective, the Mee system falls into the same category as Tokyo Japanese, Somali, Western Basque, and Mayo, which have also been subject to differing interpretations.
Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 52, no. 2 (2013)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 52, no. 1 (2013)


The Encoding of Manner Predications and Resultatives in Oceanic: A Typological and Historical Overview
Annemarie Verkerk, Benedicte Haraldstad Frostad, 1

This paper is concerned with the encoding of resultatives and manner predications in Oceanic languages. Our point of departure is a typological overview of the encoding strategies and their geographical distribution, and we investigate their historical traits by the use of phylogenetic comparative methods. A full theory of the historical pathways is not always accessible for all the attested encoding strategies, given the data available for this study. However, tentative theories about the development and origin of the attested strategies are given. One of the most frequent strategy types used to encode both manner predications and resultatives has been given special emphasis. This is a construction in which a reflex form of the Proto-Oceanic causative *pa-/*paka- modifies the second verb in serial verb constructions.

Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 52, no. 1 (2013)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 51, no. 2 (2012)


Whence the East Polynesians? Further Linguistic Evidence for a Northern Outlier Source
William H. Wilson, 289

Anthropologists and linguists have long assumed that East Polynesia was first settled from Central Western Polynesia, most likely from Samoa. Presented here is a very different history, one involving a northern settlement pathway from atolls off the east coast of the Solomon Islands some 2,000 miles (3,200 km) northwest of Samoa. Evidence includes 73 lexical and grammatical innovations reconstructible in the development of several nested Northern Outlier subgroups. East Polynesian is shown to share all of those innovations and thus subgroup with the Northern Outliers. The 73 reconstructions also provide evidence against an “Ellicean” subgroup and associated theories that East Polynesia was settled from Tuvalu, Tokelau, and/or Pukapuka. (See news reports in the Hawaii Tribune Herald, the New Zealand Herald, and on the blog Raising Islands.)
Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 51, no. 2 (2012)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 51, no. 1 (2012)


Investigating Motion Events in Austronesian Languages
D. Victoria Rau, Chun-Chieh Wang, and Hui-Huan Ann Chang, 1

S. Huang and M. Tanangkingsing found that six Western Austronesian languages share the common property of giving greater attention to path information than to manner. They proposed that Proto-Austronesian was probably path-salient. In order to ascertain the validity of their hypothesis, this study compares the motion events in a Yami Frog story with six Western Austronesian languages, followed by a research design using VARBRUL (a logistic regression analysis program) to analyze the factors that account for the variation between path and manner verbs in 20 Yami texts. Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 51, no. 1 (2012)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 50, no. 1 (2011)


On the Position of Bugotu and Gela in the Guadalcanal-Nggelic Subgroup of Oceanic
Andrew Pawley, 1

Guadalcanal-Nggelic (GN) is one of two branches of the Southeast Solomonic subgroup of Oceanic. Citing phonological and lexicostatistical evidence, several scholars have proposed an internal classification of GN in which Bugotu is an isolate, coordinate with a branch consisting of all remaining languages including Gela. This paper will argue that there are stronger grounds for an earlier and contrary hypothesis of mine that Bugotu and Gela form a closed, second-order subgroup of GN, here labeled Nggelic. Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 50, no. 1 (2011)”

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 49, no. 2 (2010)


Southern Subanen Aspiration
Jason William Lobel and William C. Hall, 319

Southern Subanen, spoken on the Philippine island of Mindanao, is the only Philippine language known to have contrastive aspiration, which is a rarity in the Austronesian family. While aspirated consonants are common in the world’s languages, Southern Subanen provides us with an uncommon glimpse at how aspirated consonants can develop. Their unique historical derivation in Southern Subanen is such that, in certain environments, aspiration marks semantic contrasts in verbal prefixes and even functions as a marker of nominalization. In this paper, we will analyze the historical sources of this aspiration and its realization in the modern language.

Continue reading “Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 49, no. 2 (2010)”