Proto Oceanic and the Austronesian Languages
of Western Melanesia.
All Austronesian languages
outside Taiwan show the merger of PAN *C with *t and *N with *n (Dahl 1973, Mills 1975).
Timor in this context is considered significant as it may provide linguistic evidence for languages
arriving from Papua both prior and subsequent to the establishment of Austronesian languages
. Peter Bellwood, Archaeology of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago (Canberra: rev.
A lexicostatistical classification of the Austronesian languages
. International Journal af American Linguistics, Memoir 19.
The study would be best appreciated by specialists in Oceanic and Austronesian languages
, but perhaps also by some general linguists interested in linguistic typology.
The study of phonotactics, or the system of legal sound combinations, in Austronesian languages
has led to many important scientific findings.
However, none of these has given us a fully systematic treatment of the language that takes advantage of recent advances in typological studies and the study of the comparative syntax of the Austronesian languages
. We have yet to see a grammar that fully expounds the Old Javanese "symmetrical voice system" in both its realis and irrealis modes, or one that treats systematically the deictic articles, voice-marking pronouns, and discourse particles whose interacting usage links temporal, spatial, and referential aspects of Old Javanese discourses.
But it occurs too far north to have ever been in contact with Chamic or any other Austronesian languages
, and the -m- suggests that it might not, after all, be cognate with the Bahnaric forms.
One has to state in the very beginning that when comparing the Finno-Ugric languages
, for example, with the Austronesian languages
or with languages
spoken in Africa and America, reduplication in the Finno-Ugric languages
shows a modest degree of grammaticalization and is usually accompanied by a psycho-pragmatic shade of meaning (emotional stance, non-neutral (i.e.
The main points are: (a) the opposition is nearly always operative in Austronesian languages
and is historically deep-rooted; (b) INC often means polite behavior regarding the addressee; (c) when the opposition was lost, INC survived and became P1.
Similarly, the distribution of Austronesian languages
is being used to map the prehistoric migration out of Taiwan and onto the islands of the open Pacific.
Some Austronesian languages
, such as Malay or Javanese, are spoken by tens of millions of people, but the 500 Austronesian languages
in New Guinea and the islands to the east are spoken by less than two million people in total.