Abstract: Recent detailed study of the historical phonology of Palauan reveals a non-etymological velar nasal at the beginning of inherited vowel-initial words, while synchronic studies of the language report final velar nasals in loans from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Blust argues that the initial velar nasal is not due to regular sound change, and also contests a potential morphological origin for the accreted segment. Reid examines Philippine evidence, and suggests that the source of the Palauan initial velar nasal is the linker *ŋa, though little evidence internal to Palauan is discussed. Here we demonstrate that, on the basis of internal evidence, a morphological source for both initial and final velar nasals is evident in Palauan, though internal and comparative evidence points to an ancient formative *ŋa 'emphatic' with distinct distribution and semantics from the well-studied Austronesian linker.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jun 30, 2012