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The Bilabial-to-Linguolabial Shift in Southern Oceanic: A Subgrouping Diagnostic?

The Bilabial-to-Linguolabial Shift in Southern Oceanic: A Subgrouping Diagnostic? <p>Abstract:</p><p>A highly unusual sound change in around 15 Southern Oceanic languages spoken in Espiritu Santo and Malakula in Vanuatu produced linguolabials from bilabials when before Proto-Oceanic nonback vowels, with those linguolabials further developing as apicals in some of those languages. Despite the development of these extremely rare phonemes, I will show that this phonological shift is <i>not</i> diagnostic of a single subgroup consisting of all the languages that evidence it. Rather, it appears that the linguolabial shift (i) supports a subgrouping of all or nearly all of those Espiritu Santo languages that show it, but (ii) was introduced into the phonological inventory of a number of Malakula languages at a much later date, spreading through contact rather than by inheritance.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

The Bilabial-to-Linguolabial Shift in Southern Oceanic: A Subgrouping Diagnostic?

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 58 (2) – Mar 11, 2020

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>A highly unusual sound change in around 15 Southern Oceanic languages spoken in Espiritu Santo and Malakula in Vanuatu produced linguolabials from bilabials when before Proto-Oceanic nonback vowels, with those linguolabials further developing as apicals in some of those languages. Despite the development of these extremely rare phonemes, I will show that this phonological shift is <i>not</i> diagnostic of a single subgroup consisting of all the languages that evidence it. Rather, it appears that the linguolabial shift (i) supports a subgrouping of all or nearly all of those Espiritu Santo languages that show it, but (ii) was introduced into the phonological inventory of a number of Malakula languages at a much later date, spreading through contact rather than by inheritance.</p>

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 11, 2020

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