This book brings together new work on Austronesian historical linguistics
and culture history to honour Robert Blust. The memoirs in Part 1 reflect
on Blust's groundbreaking contributions to these fields over the last 40
years. The remaining 26 chapters contain contributions by leading
Austronesianists on a wide range of topics that broadly match Blust's own
research interests. The chapters in Part 2 (‘sound change') examine issues
in the historical phonology of Austronesian languages. Those in Part 3
(‘grammatical change and typology') deal with morphological and syntactic
reconstruction at various levels, from Proto Austronesian down.
Methodological and substantive issues in the genetic classification of
Austronesian languages are treated in Part 4 (‘subgrouping') and in several
chapters in other sections. Chapters in Part 5 (‘culture history and
lexical reconstruction') investigate ways in which the close analysis of
lexicon, in conjunction with different kinds of non-linguistic evidence,
can throw light on the history of Austronesian-speaking peoples.
Several chapters in the volume propose significant revisions to currently
accepted reconstructions of PAn phonology and/or morphosyntax. Others focus
on the historical development of languages of particular regions, including
Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, Java, the Strait of Malacca, Sulawesi, the
Moluccas, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Polynesia and Micronesia.