Abstract

Abstract:

Since the 1970s, Austronesian higher-order subgrouping has often included a Western Malayo-Polynesian (WMP) node within the larger Malayo-Polyne- sian (MP) group. WMP includes all Malayo-Polynesian languages except for those in Central and Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, although today it is generally not accepted as a valid subgroup. This paper critically assesses WMP, using both linguistic and archaeological evidence. In conclusion, it is claimed that WMP is indeed invalid, and that in its place several primary branches of Malayo-Polynesian are recognized (Western Indonesian, Sumatran, Celebic, South Sulawesi, Chamorro, Palauan, and Moken), plus Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian and Philippines, which may represent either a collection of several yet unnamed primary branches or an innovation-defined linkage. Additionally, it is argued that the 6,750 Proto-WMP reconstructions in the Austronesian comparative dictionary must be reevaluated, where appropriate, as Proto-MP reconstructions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 435-490
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-18
Open Access
No
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