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Which Sounds Change: Descent and Borrowing in the Skou Family

Which Sounds Change: Descent and Borrowing in the Skou Family Which Sounds Change: Descent and Borrowing in the Family1 Mark Donohue university of sydney The process of establishing genetic relationships in the endeavor of historical linguistics is complicated by the fact that some, if not most, languages show no inclination to "behave themselves" by re³ecting only material inherited from their protolanguage. Borrowing at many levels is rife in many languages, particularly when geographic separation is slight, and when social contact is frequent. When both language-internal change and language-external change happen during the same time frame, sorting out relations can be complicated. In this article I show that not all sounds behave equally with respect to areal spread. This is presented through a study of sound changes in the languages of New Guinea, and a survey of other reports of diffusing behavior from elsewhere. Recognizing and working with these differences can allow us to sort out relative chronologies and thus historical relations in even complex scenarios of borrowing and change. 1. INTRODUCTION. This article presents historical argumentation for a small family of languages spoken in the center of the north coast of New Guinea. In addition to presenting some primary data for a family that has previously been underdescribed, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Which Sounds Change: Descent and Borrowing in the Skou Family

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 41 (1) – Jun 1, 2002

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
Publisher site
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Abstract

Which Sounds Change: Descent and Borrowing in the Family1 Mark Donohue university of sydney The process of establishing genetic relationships in the endeavor of historical linguistics is complicated by the fact that some, if not most, languages show no inclination to "behave themselves" by re³ecting only material inherited from their protolanguage. Borrowing at many levels is rife in many languages, particularly when geographic separation is slight, and when social contact is frequent. When both language-internal change and language-external change happen during the same time frame, sorting out relations can be complicated. In this article I show that not all sounds behave equally with respect to areal spread. This is presented through a study of sound changes in the languages of New Guinea, and a survey of other reports of diffusing behavior from elsewhere. Recognizing and working with these differences can allow us to sort out relative chronologies and thus historical relations in even complex scenarios of borrowing and change. 1. INTRODUCTION. This article presents historical argumentation for a small family of languages spoken in the center of the north coast of New Guinea. In addition to presenting some primary data for a family that has previously been underdescribed,

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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