Abstract: The Aru Islands of the southern Moluccas in eastern Indonesia are linguistically among the most neglected regions in the Austronesian world. This paper draws on a published vocabulary of about 1,000 words for Dobel, spoken in east-central Aru, and outlines its historical development from Proto–Malayo-Polynesian. Extensive sound change has concealed the origins of a number of forms that become apparent through application of the comparative method. One of the most salient features of Dobel and some other languages of the Moluccas is glide fortition, a development that has been misunderstood by some historical linguists, who have appealed to it to propose Proto-Austronesian reconstructions that are clearly misconceived.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jul 8, 2014
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