Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 43, no. 2 (2004)


277, Phonation Types in Javanese
Ela Thurgood

The somewhat misnamed breathy voiced vowels of Javanese have been retermed “slack voiced” by Ladefoged and Maddieson (1996). This paper extends the analysis of Javanese vowels to a wider range of vowels, describes in precise detail what the acoustic characteristics of Javanese slack voice are, and examines the acoustic characteristics of the “emphatic” voice quality often used in Javanese–the acoustic qualities of which are usually associated with what is more typically called breathy voice. I find that it is necessary to extend the range of voice qualities found in Javanese from stiff and slack to include the distinct breathy voice used for emphasis.

296, The Phonetics of Paicî Vowels
Matthew Gordon and Ian Maddieson

This paper presents results of a phonetic study of the vowel system of Paicî, an Austronesian language of central New Caledonia. The Paicî vowel system is of phonetic interest for both its three-way lexical tone contrast, rare among Austronesian languages, and its relatively large inventory of both oral and nasalized vowels. The large number of nasalized vowels is rare not only from an Austronesian perspective, but also is typologically atypical throughout the world. This paper focuses on the analysis of qualitative aspects of both the oral and nasalized vowels of Paicî. It is shown that vowel qualities posited in previous research on Paicî are phonetically differentiated, with the contrast between certain nasalized vowels being more subtle than the contrast involving their oral counterparts. In addition, the phonetic realization of the three tones of Paicî is discussed.

311, The Efate-Erromango Problem in Vanuatu Subgrouping
John Lynch

While the languages of Erromango clearly belong to the Southern Vanuatu family, and the languages of Efate also clearly belong to the Central Vanuatu subgroup, there are quite a few nonlexical innovations shared by just these languages and none of their close relatives (and, remarkably, apparently very little evidence of lexical sharing). This paper investigates these innovations, and proposes a settlement pattern for central and southern Vanuatu that explains these changes while still recognizing the distinct identity of the two subgroups.

339, The Argument Structure of Verbs with the Suffix –kan in Indonesian
Peter Cole and Min-Jeong Son

The verbal suffix –kan in acrolectal Indonesian gives the appearance of being a homonymous form with multiple functions. In many sentences the suffix seems to be a causative morpheme; in others it appears to be an applicative affix, while in yet others it seems to be an object marker. We show that these functions are in fact predictable if –kan is a derivational morpheme affecting the argument structure of the verb to which it is affixed. We argue that the role of –kan is to indicate the syntactic licensing of an argument in the argument structure that is not licensed syntactically by the base verb. Thus, the distribution of –kan provides evidence that there exist linguistic generalizations that need to be stated with respect to a distinct level of argument structure rather than with respect to such syntactic levels as S-Structure and Logical Form.

365, *t to k: An Austronesian Sound Change Revisited
Robert Blust

Although the change of *t to k in Hawaiian has been known and commented on for over 150 years, the widespread driftlike character of this development within Austronesian as a whole has generally gone unappreciated. This paper examines 20 historically independent instances of a *t > k change in at least 43 languages. Twelve of these changes are confined to Oceanic languages, seven to languages of eastern Indonesia, and one to western Indonesia. Almost without exception, the change *t > k has followed the loss of *k. In four languages *t > k took place only word-finally, and in two others it appears to be dissimilatory. Both structural and perceptual motivations for the change are considered, and it is concluded that *t > k usually begins as free variation within an enlarged phonological space created by the loss of *k. A few instances are difficult to reconcile with this explanation, and continue to present a challenge to linguistic theory.

411, The Higher Phylogeny of Austronesian and the Position of Tai-Kadai
Laurent Sagart

This paper presents a new higher phylogeny for the Austronesian family, based on three independent lines of evidence: the observation of a hierarchy of implications among the numerals from 5 to 10 in the languages of Formosa and in PMP; the finding that the numerals *pitu ‘7’, *walu ‘8’, and *Siwa ‘9’ can be derived from longer additive expressions meaning 5+2, 5+3, and 5+4, preserved in Pazeh, using only six sound changes; and the observation that the phylogeny that can be extracted from these and other innovations–mostly changes in the basic vocabulary–evinces a coherent spatial pattern, whereby an initial Austronesian settlement in NW Taiwan expanded unidirectionally counterclockwise along the coastal plain, circling the island in a millennium or so. In the proposed phylogeny, Malayo-Polynesian is a branch of Muic, a taxon that also includes NE Formosan (Kavalan plus Ketagalan). The ancestor language, Muish, is deemed to have been spoken in or near NE Formosa. Further evidence that the Tai-Kadai languages, contrary to common sense, are a subgroup of Austronesian (specifically: a branch of Muic, coordinate with PMP and NE Formosan) is presented.

445, From Implicature to Construction: Emergence of a Benefactive Construction in Oceania
Anna Margetts

It has long been observed that in many languages around the world possessive relations and benefactive relations are expressed by the same morphemes. There are examples of functional extension in both directions, with possessive constructions developing from benefactive ones, and vice versa. But there are also claims in the literature about the unidirectionality of this process, predicting that the development from possessive to benefactive constructions should not occur. This paper presents a detailed case study of the development of specialized benefactive expressions in Oceanic languages, where they commonly derive from expressions of attributive possession. The development starts with a possessive construction carrying a pragmatically implicated benefactive reading that gradually becomes grammaticalized and manifested in the morphosyntax of the language. This process may finally result in a benefactive construction that is syntactically and/or morphologically distinct from the expression of possession from which it originates. Syntactically, the process sets off from an object NP consisting of a noun and its modifier. In the process of grammatical change, this modifier is reanalyzed as a separate constituent, syntactically and semantically independent of the object noun. Based on data from Oceanic languages, three stages in the extension from possession to benefaction are identified. Also discussed are the contextual prerequisites for the benefactive implicature to arise in the first place.

469, Old Bikol -um- vs. mag- and the Loss of a Morphological Paradigm
Jason William Lobel

A semantic contrast between verbs taking the -um- paradigm and those taking the mag- paradigm is known to exist in Tagalog and Waray-Waray but is virtually absent in all varieties of Bikol and most Bisayan languages. Evidence is presented from Fr. Marcos de Lisboaís seventeenth-century Vocabulario de la Lengua Bicol that many Old Bikol verbs had contrasting -um- and mag- conjugations. The -um- and mag- conjugations of Old Bikol are compared with those of Waray-Waray, Southern Tagalog, and Rinconada Bikol. After a discussion of the categories of semantic contrast between –um- and mag- verbs in Old Bikol, and how these contrasts were restructured in Modern Bikol, a progression of stages is proposed to explain how the -um- vs. mag- contrast has been lost in Bikol and other Central Philippine languages.

498, Linguists, Literacy, and the Law of Unintended Consequences
Kenneth L. Rehg

In 1970, the Pacific and Asian Linguistics Institute of the University of Hawai’i launched a fourteen-year effort designed to document and support the languages of Micronesia. The first goal of this undertaking was to prepare grammars and dictionaries of these languages, the second was to train Micronesian educators in the principles and practices of bilingual education, and the third was to develop vernacular materials for use in Micronesian schools. This paper assesses the consequences of those endeavors, both intended and unintended. In particular, it focuses upon the concept of “standard orthography” and how that notion, in Micronesia and elsewhere, has sometimes impeded the development of vernacular language literacy. More contentiously, it considers the possibility that the conventional goals of vernacular literacy programs might, in some circumstances, be counter-productive; that is, rather than enhancing linguistic vitality, they might, in fact, diminish it.


519, Catharina Williams-van Klinken, John Hajek, and Rachel Nordlinger. 2002. Tetun Dili: A Grammar of an East Timorese Language
Reviewed by Aone Van Engelenhoven

522, Bert Remijsen. 2001. Word-Prosodic Systems of Raja Ampat Languages
Reviewed by Graham Thurgood

525, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann. 2001. Sourcebook on Tomini-Tolitoli Languages: General Information and Word Lists
Reviewed by Robert Blust

531, Karen Davis. 2003. A Grammar of the Hoava Language, Western Solomons
Reviewed by Ulrike Mosel


535, Index of Languages in Volume 43