Abstract

This squib reexamines the evidence for Blust's reconstruction of *kandoRa 'cuscus' and *mans(aə)r 'bandicoot' to the ancestor of the putative Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian family. I argue that the reconstructions are problematic, being unable to account for the distribution and semantics of reflexes in the Austronesian languages in eastern Indonesia. Examining data from Austronesian and Papuan languages in this region, I consider alternative histories for marsupial terms involving independent innovations, semantic shifts, and diffusion.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 258-272
Launched on MUSE
2011-08-03
Open Access
No
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