Birth-Order Term Borrowing as Evidence for Historical Interaction Patterns in the Saruwaged Mountains of Papua New Guinea

Hannah Sarvasy

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Abstract

    Austronesian languages of the Markham River valley and neighbouring Papuan languages feature birth-order term systems with up to sixteen members. All Papuan languages on the opposite side of the Saruwaged Mountains from the Markham River valley lack birth-order term systems, except the dialect of Nungon spoken in a single village, Kotet, in the Uruwa River valley. The birth-order terms of Kotet village are clearly cognate with those of Papuan and Austronesian languages on the other side of the mountain range; no other Nungon dialects contain birth-order term systems. Besides the birth-order terms, the Kotet lexicon shows little evidence of borrowing from southern languages. Every Papuan language in the region shows different forms, repetitions within systems, and ordering of the birth-order terms, making their trajectory to Kotet village hard to track. Birth-order term systems are a uniquely diffusable, and mutable, lexical category in this part of the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages1-19
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventConference of the Australian Linguistic Society ALS 2012 - Perth
    Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceConference of the Australian Linguistic Society ALS 2012
    Period1/01/12 → …

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