Oceanic languages


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Oceanic languages,

aboriginal languages spoken in the region known as OceaniaOceania
or Oceanica
, collective name for the approximately 25,000 islands of the Pacific, usually excluding such nontropical areas as the Ryukyu and Aleutian islands and Japan, as well as Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, whose populations are more closely
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. If Oceania is restricted to the Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian islands, the indigenous tongues spoken on these islands belong for the most part to the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages (see Malayo-Polynesian languagesMalayo-Polynesian languages
, sometimes also called Austronesian languages
, family of languages estimated at from 300 to 500 tongues and understood by approximately 300 million people in Madagascar; the Malay Peninsula; Indonesia and New Guinea; the Philippines;
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). Papuan languages are spoken on the island of New Guinea, which is sometimes considered a part of Melanesia. The Papuan languages are native to the people of New Guinea. They are not, so far as is known, related to the Malayo-Polynesian linguistic family or, for that matter, to any other family of languages. More research is needed to discover how the various Papuan tongues are related to one another and also how many of them there are. Currently, their number is estimated at about 150 languages. When the area of Oceania is extended to include Australia and Malaysia, indigenous languages of the Australian group spoken in Australia (see Australian languagesAustralian languages,
aboriginal languages spoken on the continent of Australia. The Australian languages do not appear to be related to any other linguistic family. The exact number of these languages and their dialects is not known, but has been estimated at about 200.
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) may be added to the Malayo-Polynesian stock (predominating in Malaysia as well as in Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia) as tongues of this region.
References in periodicals archive ?
1967: 178) Keesing ends his seminal 1984 article on the same note, urging scholars with the needed command of Oceanic languages and comparative sociological vision to 'connect the substantivizations of mana in metaphysical terms with the worldly circumstances that have given rise to such cosmologies' and to anchor mana 'in social systems rather than disembodied philosophies' (1984: 152-53).
In a forthcoming article, linguist Alexandre Franqois, who for many years has conducted research in the Banks and Torres islands as well as the Temotu of the Solomon Islands that constitute the Anglican core area, writes: 'In various Oceanic languages, mana is a verb meaning "be efficacious, be true, be potent" (Keesing 1985: 203); yet in northern Vanuatu, the use of mana as a verb is marginal [.
Peer-reviewed and selected, 12 papers consider such topics as obscure versus transparent cognates in linguistic reconstructions, the sources of relative clauses, concerning myself, markers of the spirit world in Oceanic languages, the smuggled budgie as a case study study of an Australian loanblend, and archaisms in placenames in Arabana-Wangkangurru country.
Recently, a number of excellent books have been published that contribute much to our knowledge on SVCs and their typology in Austronesian, especially in Oceanic languages (Crowley 2002; Bril and Ozanne-Rivierre 2004; Lynch et al.
Francois is the only one of the contributors to this volume who quotes Isabelle Bril's and Francoise OzanneRivierre's (2004) important contribution to the research on SVCs in Oceanic languages.
We have good dictionaries and grammatical descriptions of many of the Polynesian languages, and good work is being done on the history of the Polynesian languages and Oceanic languages in general, which provides the basis for an interpretation of the archaeological record.
We took stock of these alternative constructions and investigated what range of event types can be expressed by these strategies in the languages of our sample, for example, verbs of creation can in some Oceanic languages take the same directional morphemes as basic transfer verbs.
In Oceanic languages, if there is a class of underived three-place verbs at all, it is typically quite small, with no more than four to five members and the concepts that are included in this class vary from language to language.
Synchronic processes of assibilation are also common in Oceanic languages.
This article discusses the development of possessive classifiers into benefactive markers in Oceanic languages.
Thus, all the grammar sketches presented in the volume The Oceanic Languages (Lynch et al.
John Lynch, Malcolm Ross, and Terry Crowley: The Oceanic Languages.