Abstract

In this paper I give a critical assessment of John Wolff's interpretation of the phonological history of Malagasy as it appears in his recent book on Proto-Austronesian phonology. The various aspects of Wolff's approach that I deal with include the development of final open syllables, the spirantization and fricativization of stops and semivowels, the reduction of *-ŋk- clusters, and Wolff's interpretation of the development of Proto-Austronesian *s (or *c in Wolff's notation). I also discuss the impact of Bantu languages on the development of Malagasy after the migration of its speakers to East Africa. This impact was a major one, although it is seriously underestimated in Wolff's perspective.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 123-159
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-30
Open Access
No
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