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Current Developments in Comparative Austronesian Studies

Author: Fox, James J.
Edition/Format:   Computer file
Summary:
For speakers of Austronesian languages, there has been, for millennia, an intuitive recognition of the connections among related languages. These intuitions are a key part of the capacities that have allowed speakers of different Austronesian languages to communicate with one another, that have facilitated the migration of individuals and groups among different speech communities and that have fostered mutual
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Genre/Form: Conference paper
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Fox, James J.
OCLC Number: 677432806
Language Note: en_AU
Notes: Pascasarjana Linguististik dan Kajian Budaya Universitas Udayana, Bali
19-20 August 2004
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Abstract:

For speakers of Austronesian languages, there has been, for millennia, an intuitive recognition of the connections among related languages. These intuitions are a key part of the capacities that have allowed speakers of different Austronesian languages to communicate with one another, that have facilitated the migration of individuals and groups among different speech communities and that have fostered mutual interrelations among speech communities. All these factors now contribute to making the study of Austronesian languages a challenging comparative field of study. Comparative Austronesian studies are comprised of a variety of disciplines: linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, history and, in recent years, biological and genetic research. Each of these disciplines contributes new perspectives to an understanding of the Austronesian-speaking world. The emergence of such comparative Austronesian research is a recent coalescence of a long development that began with an initial and partial recognition of relations among Austronesian languages. While native speakers often intuitively recognize relations among the languages they use or encounter in their daily lives, no speaker of these languages can grasp the diversity of these thousands of languages nor trace the historical underpinnings of the great variety of speech communities that make up the Austronesian-speaking world. It is precisely because the Austronesian languages had spread so widely from Taiwan to Timor and from Madagascar to Easter Island that comprehension of the relations among these languages came about in stages beginning with voyages in the 16th century.

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