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Abstract

Alorese is an Austronesian language spoken on the coasts of the Alor and Pantar archipelago. Since their arrival on the archipelago about 600 years ago, the Alorese speakers have been in contact with speakers of the local Alor-Pantar (AP) languages, which belong to the (Papuan) Timor-Alor-Pantar (TAP) family. Previous studies on AP lexical influence on Alorese seem to indicate that the amount of AP loanwords is limited. In this paper, we research whether this observation applies beyond the core vocabulary by extending the data to a 596-concept list, including all 13 Alorese dialects. In order to detect borrowing events, an algorithm was used to sift loanwords out of a huge lexical pool containing approximately 66,000 word forms from 55 Austronesian languages and 42 TAP languages. The results show that the percentage of AP loanwords in Alorese is approximately 4.7 %. This limited lexical influence is accounted for by the asymmetric bilingualism patterns and by the presence of several L1s interfering with each other. Yet, the AP loanwords can inform us about the type of contact between the Alorese and AP speakers, which revolved around agriculture and vegetation (digging stick, garden, rattan, root, taro), the physical world (coral rock, mud, gravel), animals (dolphin, monitor lizard), and basic actions and technology (fish trap, bed, to fold, to pull, to wash).

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon
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Abstract

This chapter investigates how language contact with the Austronesian lingua franca, Alor Malay, leads to lexical semantic changes in the lexicon of the Papuan language, Abui. Using a variationist approach, it examines the use of a subset of verbs of visual perception, falling, change of state, across four age-groups of Abui-Alor Malay bilinguals. Following the apparent-time construct, the use of these verbs is compared among the four groups in order to understand how semantic change unfolds within a speech community. The results reveal that (pre)adolescents and young adults exhibit very strong tendencies of generalization in all three verbal domains, while adults do so in only one verbal domain. This study illustrates the unique trajectory of every verb in language contact settings based on external factors (contact) and internal factors (its patterns of use, polysemy, and frequency). This study also offers some support to the apparent-time construct in the field of lexical semantics—suggesting that changes found in (pre)adolescents’ speech are likely to carry on into young adulthood. It thus challenges claims that increased exposure in adulthood can enhance L2 lexico-semantic learning.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon

Abstract

This paper represents a first study of the shared lexical histories of the Austronesian languages of the Kawaimina group and the Papuan languages of the Maka group spoken in East Timor, with the aim of highlighting the complexity of lexical relations between these languages. Kawaimina languages are shown to have a range of Papuan etyma, but these have not necessarily been borrowed from the Maka languages. At the same time, it can be seen that Makasae, the largest Maka language, is the immediate source for multiple apparently Austronesian etmya in the Kawaimina languages. A sizeable amount of the lexicon that is shared between Kawaimina and Maka languages has no clear origin outside of those groups or appears to have been borrowed in parallel into both group’s languages from one or more unknown languages.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon

Abstract

This introductory chapter contextualizes the volume in current linguistic research on language contact between Austronesian and Papuan languages. We describe the concepts and the terminology related to lexical borrowing that are used throughout the volume, making a distinction between source language (SL) and recipient language (RL), and between ‘borrowing’, affecting the lexicon, and ‘interference’ or ‘imposition’ mainly affecting the grammar. Then we discuss methods and practical considerations for detecting loanwords, and the size and type of data sets that can be used. In the second section, we illustrate the main models of language contact, which relate contact settings to specific outcomes. We show that the chapters in this volume possibly describe all types of contact setting and related outcomes, from casual contact leading to limited lexical influence, to intense contact leading to the replacement of half of the lexicon of the RL and/or the borrowing of morphology. The third section summarizes the chapters and shows a map locating the languages discussed in this volume.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon

Abstract

This chapter traces South Asian loanwords in the Austronesian and Papuan languages of Maritime Southeast Asia. The relevant donor languages encompass two language families: Indo-European (specifically Indo-Aryan) and Dravidian (specifically South Dravidian). Among the former, Sanskrit has had the greatest impact in Maritime Southeast Asia. From the South Dravidian side, a significant layer of loanwords came from Tamil, whereas Malayalam donated a comparatively smaller amount of vocabulary. The vast majority of South Asian loanwords spread eastwards through Malay and to a lesser degree through Javanese, although direct contact can be seen in the local languages of North Sumatra. Especially the oldest forms of Javanese, in which many written texts have been preserved, are informative about the phonological and semantic developments of borrowed (and inherited) vocabulary in Maritime Southeast Asia. South Asian loanwords in this region (and beyond) encompass introduced items but also borrowed words for existing concepts. For the languages of Sumatra, Java, and elsewhere within the sphere of direct Indian influence, the lexical record reflects a profound impact from South Asian languages. Further to the east, only the most practical borrowings remain, all transmitted through intermediate languages. In the Papuan languages, specifically the Timor-Alor-Pantar and North Halmahera families, lexical influence from Indo-Aryan and South Dravidian languages is minimal and chiefly of recent date.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon
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Abstract

The Lamaholot languages in eastern Indonesia belong to the Austronesian language family and can be divided into three subgroups. About half of their vocabulary is of unknown origin. Only a small part of this non-Austronesian component of the lexicon can be traced back to their closest reconstructible ancestor Proto-Flores-Lembata. This suggests that this vocabulary was added to the Lamaholot subgroups after the split of Proto-Flores-Lembata. The added lexical items are considered to be a non-Austronesian substrate which arose due to a language contact scenario in the past. Speakers of earlier stages of the Lamaholot languages and at least one unknown non-Austronesian language must have lived in a situation of stable bilingualism for several generations. This situation let to the mixing of the lexicon, most likely due to intensive code-switching practices which involved both languages almost equally.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon

Abstract

The selection of the four language families of Border, Nimboran, Sentani, and Sko is based on the hypothesis that the Border languages may have ties to the west that so far had not been examined. When comparing vocabularies, lexical similarities among some languages readily catch the eye. They hold between two or more language families as well as between individual languages. Regular sound changes within the families allow us to tentatively arrange the transfers chronologically to the extent to which they participated in them.

Yet overall, the lexical transfers are very low in number; grammatical convergence does not counterbalance this result. Despite the relatively high linguistic stability, the observed lexical and structural transfers provide evidence for the thesis, and thus support corresponding oral accounts, that the people speaking Border languages migrated from the west to their current locations further east. The proposed homeland and migrations routes especially of the Border people are shown in a map. Though the results of the paper are preliminary, they contribute to a better understanding of the linguistic history of a greatly underresearched area in north-central New Guinea.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon
Author:

Abstract

A detailed investigation of the Rote-Meto subgroup attests to the complex spread of Austronesian languages in Wallacea, in which contact with pre-Austronesian substrates and other Austronesian languages have played a role. The segmental inventory of Proto-Rote-Meto has been transformed according to regional norms. This has come about through acquisition of new vocabulary, as well as large-scale unconditioned splits with multiple interacting causes. The “non-Austronesian” nature of the segmental inventory contrasts with the relatively “Austronesian” character of the lexicon. No single explanation accounts for the Rote-Meto data. This highlights the need for multiple lines of investigation across multiple domains in order to understand language history in this region

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon

Abstract

Prolonged contact between Tagalog and Spanish has had a significant impact on the former as a recipient language, even without high levels of bilingualism. In addition to heavy lexical borrowing, it has been claimed that at least six Spanish suffixes have been adopted into Tagalog as nominalizers. The present study focuses on the verification of this claim, as well as the nature and impact of the assumed borrowing on Tagalog. To address these issues, also bearing in mind present-day influence of English on Tagalog, two datasets were consulted: (a) texts and dictionaries from the late 19th–early 20th century (i.e., before the spread of English in the Philippines), and (b) contemporary data from the late 20th–early 21st century.

The results indicate that only three suffixes, -ero/a, -ista, -ito/a, are attested with certainty as being minimally mildly productive in forming common nouns in Tagalog. Following Seifart’s (2015) typology of affix borrowing, these results also suggest that “indirect borrowing” via Spanish loanwords was the primary means of adopting these three suffixes. This finding also corroborates Winford’s (2003b) observation that certain structural innovations in a recipient language may be mediated by lexical borrowing even without high levels of bilingualism.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon

Abstract

This paper investigates the development of a particular contact-induced change in the voice morphology of Ibatan, an Austronesian language spoken on the island community of Babuyan Claro in the far north of the Philippines. Given its close history with the Ilokano language, Ibatan has developed parallel paradigms for actor voice durative verbs, namely the native paradigm pay-, and the non-native paradigm pag-, which developed mainly through large-scale lexical transfer. Generally, the non-native paradigm occurs with non-native stems, forming complex loanwords, whereas the native paradigm typically occurs with native stems. However, there are also cases of hybrid formations, which involve combinations of native and non-native materials. The patterns in the distribution of the parallel paradigms reflect layers of contact-induced language change, which are driven by different agents with varying degrees of psycholinguistic dominance in Ibatan, and these are argued to be underpinned by the changing social landscape of the Babuyan Claro community.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon