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This chapter investigates traces of Austronesian words attested in the lexicon of the Timor Alor Pantar (TAP) languages. It focusses on lexical sets of three ancient and eleven pre-modern borrowings. Ancient loanwords that were inherited throughout the family help us to date the first contact with Austronesian and the age of the TAP family as a whole. Pre-modern loans provide a view on the history of contact of TAP communities in the period before Indonesian and local Malay became dominant. The chapter demonstrates that Austronesian lexical influence on the TAP languages as reflected by the loans discussed is characterized as involving animals (pig, deer), textile technology (needle, to weave, to sew); societal structures (slave, king/ruler), body parts (breast, navel), subsistence and trade (salt, seed, maize, skin), and marriage (bride price). For some loans the donor region cannot be established, while others are determined to originate from Timor or the Flores Lembata region. The evidence presented in the paper suggests that TAP communities have been in contact with Austronesian speaking groups since the stage of proto TAP, thousands of years ago, but that their contacts generally remained superficial, being limited to circumscribed domains involving the transfer of technology, goods and individual people.

Open Access
In: Traces of Contact in the Lexicon
Volume Editors: and
What can the languages spoken today tell us about the history of their speakers? This question is crucial in insular Southeast Asia and New Guinea, where thousands of languages are spoken, but written historical records and archaeological evidence is yet lacking in most regions. While the region has a long history of contact through trade, marriage exchanges, and cultural-political dominance, detailed linguistic studies of the effects of such contacts remain limited.
This volume investigates how loanwords can prove past contact events, taking into consideration ten different regions located in the Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and New Guinea. Each chapter studies borrowing across the borders of language families, and discusses implications for the social history of the speech communities.

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

The domains where languages show variable syntax are often vulnerable in language contact situations. This paper investigates one such domain in Ambon Malay: the variable encoding of give-events. We study give-expressions in the Ambon Malay variety spoken by heritage speakers in the Netherlands, and compare the responses of heritage speakers with those of homeland speakers in Ambon, Indonesia. We report that heritage Ambon Malay shows an innovative higher incidence of do constructions compared to the homeland variety, and a significant decrease in the frequency of ‘two predicate’ constructions. The change that heritage Ambon Malay is undergoing is thus not categorical, but rather involves a change in frequency of certain constructions. We argue that this ‘restructuring by changing frequency’ is due to a combination of factors: influence from Dutch, universal tendencies in language acquisition, and the language history of individual speakers. Apart from a quantitative difference, we also observe a qualitative difference between the give-constructions of heritage and homeland speakers of Ambon Malay: both groups use different prepositions in the prepositional object construction, a reflection of their different social histories.

In: Journal of Language Contact

This paper examines the influence of language contact and multilingualism on the encoding of transfer events in the heritage variety of Javanese spoken in Suriname. Alongside Javanese, this community also speaks Sranantongo and Dutch, of which Sranantongo had the longest contact history with Javanese. It is shown that this long period of contact had a structural influence on the expression of transfer events in Surinamese Javanese: Surinamese speakers use double object constructions and two-predicate constructions more frequently than homeland Javanese speakers, a change which we argue to be due to contact with Sranantongo. In addition, Surinamese Javanese speakers overgeneralize one of the two applicative suffixes found in transfer constructions, a phenomenon that results from simplification processes.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact

Abstract

This paper refines the subgroupings of the Timor-Alor-Pantar (TAP) family of Papuan languages, using a systematic Bayesian phylogenetics study. While recent work indicates that the TAP family comprises a Timor (T) branch and an Alor-Pantar (AP) branch (Holton et al., 2012; Schapper et al., 2017), the internal structure of the AP branch has proven to be a challenging issue, and earlier studies leave large gaps in our understanding. Our Bayesian inference study is based on an extensive set of TAP lexical data from the online LexiRumah database (Kaiping et al., 2019b; Kaiping and Klamer, 2018). Systematically comparing different analytical models and tying them back to the evidence in terms of historical linguistics, we arrive at a subgrouping structure of the TAP family that is based on features of the phylogenies shared across the different analyses. Our TAP tree differs from all earlier proposals by inferring the East Alor subgroup as an early split-off from all other AP languages, instead of the most deeply embedded subgroup inside that branch. The evidences suggests that dialect cluster effects played a major role in the formation of today’s Timor-Alor-Pantar languages.

Open Access
In: Language Dynamics and Change