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.

Southwest Sabah Revisited
Jason William Lobel, 36

This paper presents the results of a new innovation-based subgrouping argument for the Southwest Sabah languages of northern Borneo, including over 60 languages in Sabah, northern Sarawak, Brunei, and northern Kalimantan Timur. Data for many of these languages have never appeared in the literature before, and few of them have been included in previous studies except those based on lexicostatistics and intelligibility testing. In contrast with previous works, the current study is based on phonological and functor innovations. Discrepancies between the findings of the current study and previous studies are explained as the effect of contact and borrowing, which lexicostatistics and intelligibility testing cannot account for.

Restructuring and Clause Structure in Isbukun Bunun
Hsiao-hung Iris Wu, 69

This paper studies the restructuring phenomenon in Isbukun Bunun, which exhibits special morphology and syntax that distinguish it from sentences containing common infinitives. I demonstrate that a subclass of predicates should be analyzed as restructuring predicates in Isbukun Bunun, since they apparently create transparent domains for syntactic operations such as passivization and clitic placement. I argue that the lack of clause-boundedness effects in restructuring follows trivially from the functionally impoverished structure of the restructuring infinitives, so that this construction lacks clausal properties throughout the derivation.

Development of Reason and Cause Markers in Oceanic
Frantisek Lichtenberk, 86

Proto-Oceanic had a transitive verb *suRi ‘follow, be in motion behind somebody/something’, ‘accompany’. This verb underwent several grammaticalization processes. It developed into a preposition with the sense ‘(motion) in the direction of X’, a preposition whose meaning can be broadly characterized as ‘concerning’, including the marking of locutional topics, and into a reason/cause preposition and clause marker. After discussion of the semantic aspects of *suRi and its reflexes in various Oceanic languages, the paper focuses on the development of the reason/cause marking functions. It is argued that the factor that motivated the development was the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy: because state of affairs B temporally follows state of affairs A, it may be seen as being caused by it. There is also evidence of independent developments from the meaning ‘follow’ to a cause and/or reason marking function in other languages with different etyma involved.

From Austronesian Voice to Oceanic Transitivity: Äiwoo as the “Missing Link”
Åshild Næss, 106

This paper examines three properties of the Reefs-Santa Cruz language Äiwoo that are unusual for an Oceanic language—a distinction between prefixal marking of subjects for intransitive verbs and suffixal marking for transitive verbs, OVA word order in clauses that are morphologically and syntactically transitive, and an ergatively structured verb phrase in OVA clauses—and one that is frequent in Oceanic languages, namely the existence of clauses that appear to be morphologically intransitive but syntactically transitive (so-called “transitive discord” in the terminology of Margetts). I argue that all these properties are straightforwardly explained by the assumption that the Äiwoo system derives from a western Austronesian-style symmetrical voice system where two basic changes have taken place: the loss of the contrast between an actor voice and an undergoer voice, and the accretion of subject pronouns as bound person markers on verbs. Given that Äiwoo is an Oceanic language, this suggests that a voice system must have persisted later into the development of Oceanic than has previously been assumed.

The Northeastern Luzon Subgroup of Philippine Languages
Laura C. Robinson and Jason William Lobel, 125

This paper presents a survey of the languages of the northeastern part of the large northern Philippine island of Luzon—Dupaningan Agta, Pahanan Agta, Casiguran Agta, Nagtipunan Agta, Dinapigue Agta, Paranan, and Kasiguranin—the first five of which are spoken by Negrito Filipino groups. With the exception of Kasiguranin, these languages compose a subgroup called Northeastern Luzon. Evidence is presented to determine the internal and external relationships of these languages, including historical phonology, functors, and lexicon. It is argued that they are not members of the Northern Cordilleran subgroup, as has been previously suggested, but instead form a primary branch of the Northern Luzon (Cordilleran) subgroup.

Directionals in Paluai: Semantics, Use, and Grammaticalization Paths
Dineke Schokkin, 169

A phenomenon commonly encountered in Oceanic languages consists of verb-like forms that indicate the direction of motion verbs, which go by different names depending on the analysis. This article discusses the directional paradigm of Paluai (Eastern Admiralties), spoken on Baluan Island (Manus Province, Papua New Guinea). This language has an exceptionally large paradigm of ten directionals, which are obligatorily used in serial verb constructions (SVCs) to express the direction of the action represented by the main verb. The Paluai paradigm is interesting because it utilizes an absolute frame of reference in which many of the terms are additionally specified for deixis. Which directional is used in what context depends on two variables: first, where the motion is directed with regard to a land–sea axis (absolute or cardinal direction); and second, whether the motion is directed away from or toward a deictic center, or in neither direction. Although the directionals are used predominantly in SVCs, they are all attested as main verbs, heading a predicate. They have, however, undergone some degree of grammaticalization; this appears to be especially the case with la ‘motion away from the deictic center’.

Reflexes of the *qali/kali- Prefixes in Micronesian Languages
Emerson Lopez Odango, 192

This paper surveys the reflexes of the *qali/kali- prefix family in Micronesian languages, with illustrative examples from the Lukunosh dialect of Mortlockese, a language spoken in the Federated States of Micronesia. Historically, these prefixes marked lexical items as having a connection to the spirit world, with reconstructed forms attested from Proto-Austronesian to Proto-Oceanic, as well as in the Nuclear Micronesian languages. I claim that Proto-Micronesian had a reflex of *qali- (rather than *kali-) in the form *ali- with a similar cultural connection to the spirit world. On the other hand, Proto-Central Micronesian *li- ‘nominalizing agentive prefix’ is best analyzed as an innovation in Micronesian languages rather than a derivative of a *qali/kali- prefix. To broaden the ethnographic description of these pervasive prefixes, I discuss examples of *ali- and *li- reflexes in the Lukunosh dialect of Mortlockese.

A Study of Second-Position Enclitics in Cebuano
Michael Tanangkingsing, 222

Second-position enclitics in Cebuano are syntactically dispensable and truth-conditionally irrelevant; however, they add emotional flavor to utterances. This study investigates second-position enclitics in Cebuano, including their form and how they are used to express stance. The objective of this study is to investigate the form and functions of two groups of second-position enclitics, “aspectual” enclitics, and emphasizer and intensifier enclitics, as well as to examine their distribution in enclitic clusters. Conversational data show that the “aspectual” enclitics convey attitudinal stance: =na can convey emphasis, determination, and desperation, while =pa is used to imply “incompletion” or “lack,” leading to annoyance. In addition, I discuss =man, illustrating how it is used for downtoning and for showing politeness. I also tease apart the meanings of four seemingly synonymous high-frequency enclitics that differ in their relative frequency and preferred position in a cluster. As to function, =ka’ayo and =gyud serve to emphasize and intensify, but =ka’ayo has a scope over a predicate, while =gyud has scope over an entire proposition. On the other hand, =lagi and =gud have to be inspected in discourse: =lagi has the additional function of asserting one’s stance on the hearers, while =gud has the additional element of disagreement or dissatisfaction. Finally, I propose a relative ordering involving these two groups of enclitics in clusters.


The Higher Phylogeny of Austronesian: A Response to Winter
Laurent Sagart, 249

This paper is a response to criticism by Winter in an earlier issue of this journal of Sagart’s discussion of the higher phylogeny of Austronesian. I give examples outside of Austronesian of compound numerals being affected by several apparently irregular changes; argue that the number of changes proposed in my Austronesian model is realistic; explain the order of establishment of disyllabic numerals as depending on two factors, cardinal order and number of competitors; give Austronesian examples showing that the drive to disyllabism does apply to morphologically complex forms; and ascribe the limited similarities between the phylogenies of Blust and Ross to chance. Finally, I claim that the only realistic explanation of the nesting of six related isoglosses is a sequence of innovations.

Formosan Evidence for Early Austronesian Knowledge of Iron
Robert Blust, 255

Linguistic evidence for a knowledge of iron that predates the archaeological evidence for iron technology has had a checkered history in Austronesian linguistics over the past four decades. This squib reevaluates five comparisons first proposed by the writer in 1976, and discards three of them. Based on internal Formosan evidence from languages belonging to different primary branches of the family, it then draws attention to two new comparisons relating to iron that are not likely to be due to diffusion, and raises the question once more whether a knowledge of iron might have preceded iron-working in the Austronesian world by several millennia.


In Memoriam, George Milner, 1918–2012
Paul Geraghty, 265


Tamambo, a language of Malo, Vanuatu by Dorothy G. Jauncey
Daniel Kaufman, 277

Abau grammar sketch by Arnold (Arjen) Hugo Lock
William A. Foley, 291

A world of words: Revisiting the work of Renward Brandstetter (1860–1942) on Lucerne and Austronesia ed. by Robert Blust and Jürg Schneider
Alexander Adelaar, 297