Abstract

That East Polynesian (EPn ) and the Northern Outliers (NO) subgroup together as NO-EPn within the larger Nuclear Polynesian (NPn ) subgroup is supported with 73 shared innovations given in an earlier publication by Wilson, and 130 newly identified shared innovations in this paper. The major challenge to the NO-EPn hypothesis is a proposal that Pukapukan and EPn form a unique P-EPn subgroup, either apart from all other NPn languages or with the NO languages and possibly also Tuvaluan and Tokelauan. Closely related to this proposal is a hypothesis that Pukapuka (rather than the Central Northern Outliers) served as the “staging post” for the settlement of East Polynesia. The lexicon of Pukapukan includes both words directly inherited from Proto-Nuclear Polynesian (PNPn ) and words indirectly inherited from PNPn through borrowing from EPn languages. Here I investigate whether any innovations shared uniquely by Pukapukan and EPn (or NO-EPn ) are directly inherited. The absence of such directly inherited innovations indicates that there is no unique P-EPn subgroup. Instead, quite late in the history of EPn , a Tokelauan-like Pukapukan borrowed heavily from EPn languages of the Tahitic subgroup, with some additional borrowings from languages spoken on Tikopia and other nearby Outliers.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 392-442
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-23
Open Access
No
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