Abstract

While the Tongic subgroup of Polynesian, consisting of Niuean and Tongan, is defined by a number of shared innovations, Niuean is known to exhibit phonological and lexical features that can be taken as evidence of Eastern Polynesian (EPN) influence. Niuean also shows syntactic features that are prominent among EPN languages, but absent in Tongan. This paper examines whether these syntactic features can be taken to be shared innovations and hence constitute a basis for a subgroup including EPN and Niuean. The current study suggests that convergent development is the probable explanation for the syntactic similarities between Niuean and EPN.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 429-456
Launched on MUSE
2007-01-24
Open Access
No
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