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The Position of the Languages of Eastern Indonesia: A Reply to Donohue and Grimes

The Position of the Languages of Eastern Indonesia: A Reply to Donohue and Grimes Abstract: Donohue and Grimes (2008) question the validity of the claims (1) that most of the Austronesian languages of eastern Indonesia fall into a Central Malayo-Polynesian (CMP) subgroup that appears to continue a prehistoric dialect chain, and (2) that Central Malayo-Polynesian and Eastern Malayo-Polynesian form a larger Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian (CEMP) subgroup. Some of their objections are valid and welcome, but most of the counterarguments they present are based on an approach to the data that diverges sharply from the standard use of the Comparative Method of linguistics, and in certain crucial cases from generally accepted scientific method. A reexamination of individual comparisons shows that many of the exclusively shared innovations that they dismiss stand up to close scrutiny. This is particularly true of CEMP, and while it is not true of CMP, the evidence for geographically extensive diffusion among the CMP languages strongly suggests that all or most of them once formed a dialect chain. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

The Position of the Languages of Eastern Indonesia: A Reply to Donohue and Grimes

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 48 (1) – Jul 23, 2009

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1527-9421
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Abstract

Abstract: Donohue and Grimes (2008) question the validity of the claims (1) that most of the Austronesian languages of eastern Indonesia fall into a Central Malayo-Polynesian (CMP) subgroup that appears to continue a prehistoric dialect chain, and (2) that Central Malayo-Polynesian and Eastern Malayo-Polynesian form a larger Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian (CEMP) subgroup. Some of their objections are valid and welcome, but most of the counterarguments they present are based on an approach to the data that diverges sharply from the standard use of the Comparative Method of linguistics, and in certain crucial cases from generally accepted scientific method. A reexamination of individual comparisons shows that many of the exclusively shared innovations that they dismiss stand up to close scrutiny. This is particularly true of CEMP, and while it is not true of CMP, the evidence for geographically extensive diffusion among the CMP languages strongly suggests that all or most of them once formed a dialect chain.

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 23, 2009

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