A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Hlai, Norquest presents a reconstruction of Proto-Hlai based on data from twelve Hlai languages spoken on Hainan, China. This reconstruction includes chapters on both the Proto-Hlai initials and rimes, and original sesquisyllabic forms are shown to be necessary to account for the reflexes between the daughter languages. A comparison is made between Proto-Hlai and Proto-Tai, and a preliminary reconstruction of Proto Southern Kra-Dai (the immediate ancestor of Proto-Hlai) is performed. When this is compared with Proto-Hlai, it is shown that several important sound changes occurred between Pre-Hlai and Proto-Hlai. The aberrant Jiamao language is also examined, focusing on its complex contact relationships with other Hlai languages.
Peter K. Norquest, Ph.D. (2007), University of Arizona, is a post-doctoral researcher affiliated with that university. His research focuses upon the Kra-Dai and Austronesian language phyla of Southeast Asia, and he has published various historical linguistics papers on both.
All interested in the prehistory of Southeast Asia, particularly anyone concerned with the Kra-Dai language phylum and the history of the speakers of the Hlai languages on Hainan Island.