The roughly thirty non-Austronesian languages spoken on the islands of Timor, Alor, and Pantar have long been assumed to be related, but their relationship was rigorously demonstrated only recently. Substantial strides have been made in recent years toward understanding the history of this language family, though so far, determining the origin of the Western Pantar synchronically phonemic geminate stops has proven to be a challenge. No independent evidence for reconstructing geminates has been put forward, but there is also no obvious conditioning environment for gemination. The present article demonstrates that positing a system of stress based on moraic trochees in Proto-Timor-Alor-Pantar allows an accurate statement of the environment of gemination in Western Pantar, as well as explaining several independent characteristics of the vowels and prosody of the daughter languages.


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pp. 278-289
Launched on MUSE
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