In this paper, we seek to draw attention to Malayo-Polynesian languages outside of the Oceanic subgroup with innovative bases and complex numerals involving various additive, subtractive, and multiplicative procedures. We highlight the fact that the number of languages showing such innovations is more than previously recognized in the literature. Finally, we observe that the concentration of complex numeral innovations in the region of eastern Indonesia suggests Papuan influence, either through contact or substrate. However, we also note that sociocultural factors, in the form of numeral taboos and conventionalized counting practices, may have played a role in driving innovations in numerals.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Dec 9, 2013