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Author: Paul Sidwell

Abstract

Nicobarese is a very small branch of Austroasiatic (AA) speech that is uniquely insular in distribution, with the closest neighbours speaking varieties of Austronesian (An) and Andamanese languages. There are various typological similarities with An languages of Northern Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, in addition to various Nicobarese innovations. The typological changes are such that the unambiguous AA heritage of Nicobarese is only revealed by close examination of the basic lexical stock and oldest layers of morphology, recognized as early as 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt. Extant literature on the poorly documented Nicobarese languages (Car, Nancowry) is synthesised to profile word-order patterns and constraints, and the marking of grammatical relations. Proto-Nicobarese is proposed to have favoured VS/VPA word order, with fronted S/A an available option.

In: Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective
Author: Paul Sidwell

Abstract

Nicobarese is a very small branch of Austroasiatic (AA) speech that is uniquely insular in distribution, with the closest neighbours speaking varieties of Austronesian (An) and Andamanese languages. There are various typological similarities with An languages of Northern Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, in addition to various Nicobarese innovations. The typological changes are such that the unambiguous AA heritage of Nicobarese is only revealed by close examination of the basic lexical stock and oldest layers of morphology, recognized as early as 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt. Extant literature on the poorly documented Nicobarese languages (Car, Nancowry) is synthesised to profile word-order patterns and constraints, and the marking of grammatical relations. Proto-Nicobarese is proposed to have favoured VS/VPA word order, with fronted S/A an available option.

In: Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)
Volume Editors: Mathias Jenny and Paul Sidwell
The Handbook of the Austroasiatic Languages is the first comprehensive reference work on this important language family of South and Southeast Asia. Austroasiatic languages are spoken by more than 100 million people, from central India to Vietnam, from Malaysia to Southern China, including national language Cambodian and Vietnamese, and more than 130 minority communities, large and small.

The handbook comprises two parts, Overviews and Grammar Sketches:
Part 1) The overview chapters cover typology, classification, historical reconstruction, plus a special overview of the Munda languages.
Part 2) Some 27 scholars present grammar sketches of 21 languages, representing 12 of the 13 branches. The sketches are carefully prepared according to the editors’ unifying typological approach, ensuring analytical and notational comparability throughout.
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)