Linguistic evidence for prehistory: Oceanic examples

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Historical linguistic analysis of a language family can provide evidence about speakers’ prehistory in at least three respects. First, linguistic geography and the reconstruction of a linguistic phylogeny by the comparative method can tell us something about the movements of its speakers from place to place. Second, evidence of contact-induced change can tell us about the interactions of its speakers with groups speaking other languages and occasionally about instances of language shift. Third, reconstructed lexicon may tell us about the culture of speakers of that interstage language, revealing probable features of that culture that are less accessible to archaeology. This article provides examples of these three kinds of evidence, drawn from the study of languages of the large Oceanic subgroup of Austronesian.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-101 pp.
    JournalJournal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society
    VolumeSpecial Publication
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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