From: David Mead <mead2368gmail.com>
Subject: Proto-Bungku-Tolaki: Reconstruction of its phonology and aspects of its morphosyntax
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Institution: Rice University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1998
Author: David E Mead
Dissertation Title: Proto-Bungku-Tolaki: Reconstruction of its phonology and aspects of its morphosyntax
Language Family(ies): Bungku-Tolaki
Philip W Davis
Robert A. Blust
The Bungku-Tolaki group of languages (Austronesian, Western
Malayo-Polynesian) comprises fifteen languages spoken in and around the
southeastern peninsula of Sulawesi Island in present-day Indonesia.
Although there exist no written records for these languages prior to 1900,
I apply the traditional methods of historical and comparative linguistics,
as well as bring to bear more recent understandings regarding the nature of
grammatical and semantic change, in order to develop a picture of their
common ancestor language, Proto-Bungku-Tolaki.
The dissertation has two parts. In part one, I reconstruct the sound system
of Proto-Bungku-Tolaki, detailing both the innovations which distinguish it
from its nearest identified ancestor, Proto-Malayo-Polynesian, along with
the phonological changes which occurred in the various daughter languages,
bringing us up to the present day. In the second part, I focus on issues of
transitivity including the grammaticalization of the preposition *aken as a
valence-changing applicative suffix, clause structure including relative
clauses, and verbal inflection. Herein, Proto-Bungku-Tolaki is
reconstructed as having three construction types which allowed the
expression of both an agent and a patent, namely the active, the passive,
and the antipassive. Nominative and absolutive pronoun sets served as
agreement markers, though the genitive subject marking original to
subordinate temporal adverbial clauses has in some languages also made its
way into main clauses.
Because there is not as yet a significant body of published material on the
Bungku-Tolaki languages, I have made a conscious effort to amply supply
this dissertation with the primary data upon which my analyses have been
based. Therefore although the present work is of particular relevance to
Austronesianists working in the field of historical reconstruction, the
data and descriptions alone should make this an invaluable reference for
anyone interested in the languages of this small corner of the world.
Appendices include five texts with interlinear glossing and free
translation, and a compilation of Proto-Bungku-Tolaki lexical
reconstructions with supporting evidence.
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