This paper presents a new higher phylogeny for the Austronesian family, based on three independent lines of evidence: the observation of a hierarchy of implications among the numerals from 5 to 10 in the languages of Formosa and in PMP; the finding that the numerals *pitu '7', *walu '8', and *Siwa '9' can be derived from longer additive expressions meaning 5+2, 5+3, and 5+4, preserved in Pazeh, using only six sound changes; and the observation that the phylogeny that can be extracted from these and other innovations—mostly changes in the basic vocabulary—evinces a coherent spatial pattern, whereby an initial Austronesian settlement in NW Taiwan expanded unidirectionally counterclockwise along the coastal plain, circling the island in a millennium or so. In the proposed phylogeny, Malayo-Polynesian is a branch of Muic, a taxon that also includes NE Formosan (Kavalan plus Ketagalan). The ancestor language, Muish, is deemed to have been spoken in or near NE Formosa. Further evidence that the Tai-Kadai languages, contrary to common sense, are a subgroup of Austronesian (specifically: a branch of Muic, coordinate with PMP and NE Formosan) is presented.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press