Abstract

Abstract:

This article discusses the plural word hire in Alorese, an Austronesian language spoken on the islands of Alor and Pantar, in eastern Indonesia. Following the methodological requisites for contact-induced change, I claim that the plural word hire emerged through contact with Papuan Alor-Pantar languages, because (i) Alorese was and still is spoken in close contact with Alor-Pantar languages; (ii) Alorese and the neighboring Alor-Pantar languages share the presence of a plural word, and their plural words have similar syntactic and semantic properties; (iii) Alor-Pantar languages had plural words before they came into contact with Alorese; and (iv) Alorese did not have the plural word hire before it came into contact with Alor-Pantar languages. The innovation of hire is a case of contact-induced grammaticalization, whereby the form is inherited and developed from an original third person plural pronoun going back to Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *si-ida, while the function of the plural word is borrowed from the neighboring Alor-Pantar languages.

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