Is Puyuma a Primary Branch of Austronesian? A Reply to Sagart

Stacy Teng, Malcolm Ross

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Ross (2009) proposes the Nuclear Austronesian hypothesis, according to which the Formosan languages Puyuma, Rukai, and Tsou are each probably a primary branch of Austronesian and all Austronesian languages other than these three belong to a single, Nuclear Austronesian, branch defined by the nominalization-to-verb innovation originally proposed by Starosta, Pawley, and Reid (1981, 1982) for Proto-Austronesian itself. Sagart (2010) argues that there is evidence that Puyuma has also undergone the nominalization-to-verb innovation and is accordingly not a primary branch of Austronesian. In this short paper we show that Sagart's evidence is based on misanalyses of Puyuma data and that these data do not reflect the nominalization-to-verb innovation. Sagart's argument against the Nuclear Austronesian hypothesis does not stand up to closer scrutiny.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)543-558
    JournalOceanic Linguistics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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