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Some shared developments in pronouns in languages of Southern Oceanic

Lynch, John D. and Ozanne-Rivierre, F. (2001) Some shared developments in pronouns in languages of Southern Oceanic. Oceanic Linguistics, 40 (1). pp. 33-66. ISSN 0029-8115

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Some Shared Developments in Pronouns in Languages of Southern Oceania John Lynch university of the south pacific Françoise Ozanne-Rivierre lacito-cnrs The languages of Vanuatu and New Caledonia manifest a number of innovations in the Proto-Oceanic pronominal system, the most interesting of these— and the most useful for subgrouping purposes—being in the nonsingular focal pronouns. We show that (1) they continue two changes begun in Proto–Eastern Oceanic—*t > *d in the ²rst inclusive pronoun *kita, and the suf²xing of the numerals *rua ‘two’ and *tolu ‘three’ to form dual and trial pronouns, and (2) they also continue the change *k > *g in the ²rst exclusive and second person pronouns *kamami and *kam(i)u, which has been reconstructed for Proto– North–Central Vanuatu. However, the languages of Southern Vanuatu and New Caledonia apparently uniquely share two other innovations: (3) *kida > *gada (alternating with *gadi?) as the ²rst person inclusive pronoun; and (4) restructuring of the system of number-marking, such that dual and trial are marked by greatly modi²ed forms of the numerals *rua and *tolu, and a plural suf²x deriving from an equally modi²ed form of *pat(i) ‘four’ is added to the system. This paper documents these changes, suggests that they provide strong evidence for grouping Southern Vanuatu and New Caledonian languages into a single subgroup of Oceanic, and also suggests that changes (2) and (3) may have been part of a process—begun in Proto–Eastern Oceanic—by which deictics became fused with pronominal roots.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > Pacific Languages Unit
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2001 22:29
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2012 22:29

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