Whence the Austronesian indirect possessive construction?

Mark Donohue, Antoinette Schapper

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Possession in some Austronesian languages shows levels of elaboration far in excess of cross-linguistic norms, while in others it is strikingly unelaborated. The appearance of alienable/inalienable contrasts has been assumed to result from contact with Papuan languages, and the existence of a paradigm of indirect possessive classifiers is cited as one of the pieces of evidence for the Oceanic subgroup, while acknowledging that indirect possession constructions can be found in Malayo-Polynesian languages further west. We argue that the appearance of possessive classifiers in these languages is also the result of contact with Papuan languages west of New Guinea.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)316-327
    JournalOceanic Linguistics
    Volume47
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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