The historical relations of the papuan languages of alor and pantar
Robinson, Laura C.
Date of Issue2012
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The historical relations of the Papuan languages scattered across the islands of the Alor archipelago, Timor, and Kisar in southeast Indonesia have remained largely conjectural. This paper makes a first step toward demonstrating that the languages of Alor and Pantar form a single genealogical group. Applying the comparative method to primary lexical data from twelve languages sampled across the islands of the Alor-Pantar archipelago, we use form-meaning pairings in basic cognate sets to establish regular sound correspondences that support the view that these languages are genetically related. We reconstruct 97 Proto‒Alor-Pantar vocabulary items and propose an internal subgrouping based on shared innovations. Finally, we compare Alor-Pantar with Papuan languages of Timor and with Trans-New Guinea languages, concluding that there is no lexical evidence supporting the inclusion of Alor-Pantar languages in the Trans-New Guinea family.
© 2012 University of Hawai‘i Press. This paper was published in Oceanic Linguistics and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of University of Hawai‘i Press. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/ol.2012.0001. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.