Category Archives: Oceanic Linguistics

The new issue of Oceanic Linguistics is here (with a new look!)

In 55 years, Oceanic Linguistics has grown from a 41-page inaugural issue stapled together to perfect-bound tomes published biannually. But as the field—and the journal—expanded, the cover remained constant with its signature blue logo since 1966. Now in its 56th volume, Oceanic Linguistics has a new look, reflecting Oceania.

Through the years: Oceanic Linguistics covers.

We’re thrilled to share this cover redesign with you. In addition to checking out the new issue, learn more about Oceanic Linguistics in this interview with editor John Lynch and peruse this free issue on Project MUSE detailing 50 years of Oceanic Linguistics history.


Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 56, No. 1 includes the following works:

ARTICLES

  • Verb-Adjacent Clitic Climbing and Restructuring in Isbukun Bunun by Lillian Li-Ying Li
  • Influence of Social Network on Language Use of Kejaman Speakers
    in Sarawak, Malaysia:
    by Amee Joan and Su-Hie Ting
  • The Vitality of Minority Languages in Malaysia by Paolo Coluzzi
  • Event Integration and Argument Realization in Nonconcordant Verb Serialization in Tsou by Gujing Lin
  • A First Reconstruction of Vowels in Proto-Timor-Alor-Pantar by Tyler M. Heston

Squibs

  • The Challenge of Semantic Reconstruction: Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *suku ‘lineage; quarter’? by Robert Blust
  • Stress and Gemination in Alor-Pantar Languages: Revising Heston (2016) by Antoinette Schapper

REVIEWS

  • Jean-Michel Charpentier and Alexandre François’s Linguistic atlas of French Polynesia/Atlas linguistique de la Polynésie française reviewed by Mary Walworth

Plus more articles, squibs, and reviews

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Interview: Oceanic Linguistics Editor John Lynch

In 56 years, Oceanic Linguistics has been led by only three editors: George W. Grace, Byron Bender, and John Lynch. Below, Lynch shares the journal’s history, how he managed to complete Vol. 54 in the middle of a hurricane, and how the journal has kept up with its expanding field.

John Lynch, editor of Oceanic Linguistics since 2007.

Oceanic Linguistics will publish its 56th volume this year. Tell us about the history of the journal.

OL was founded in 1962 on the recommendation of the Tenth Pacific Science Congress, held in Honolulu in 1961. The founding editor, George W. Grace, was then at Southern Illinois University; in 1964 he moved to the UH, and brought the journal with him. After 30 years as editor, he handed over to a colleague in the UH Linguistics Dept., Byron W. Bender, who continued as editor till 2007, when he handed over to me. (See Grace, Bender, and Lynch 2011. “The first fifty years of Oceanic Linguistics.” Oceanic Linguistics 50(2):285–311.)

Tell us about your journey to become editor of Oceanic Linguistics.

I had been an associate editor of OL since 1999, but that just consisted of refereeing the occasional paper. A cabal consisting of the two previous editors, two other UH faculty associated with the journal, and a linguist then at UH Press suggested to me that, since Byron Bender wanted to retire as editor, perhaps the editorship should move south of the equator — and I was their suggested nominee. I guess the fact that I am originally from Australia, have a UH PhD, have lived in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu since 1970, and was about to retire was qualification enough.

George W. Grace (right) in Houaïlou, New Caledonia, in 1955. Source: Wikipedia. Grace founded the journal in 1962 and served as editor for 30 years. See Robert Blust’s “In Memoriam: George William Grace (1921-2015)” in Vol. 54, Issue 2.

In your field, what issues are particularly relevant now? 

Two issues have remained relevant for many years. One is the historical interrelationships of the languages of the Pacific, both Austronesian and non-Austronesian, and the contribution of this study to wider Pacific prehistory. The other is the contribution that Pacific linguists can make to the general study of language and linguistic theory.

How has Oceanic Linguistics evolved over the years? Do you foresee any changes on the horizon?

The major evolution has been in terms of size: many of the early issue were 100 pages or smaller; the most recent issue, on the other hand, runs to almost 400 pages. The field has expanded enormously in the last half-century, and the pool of potential authors has expanded along with it.

Byron Bender served as the second editor of OL for 15 years, and now serves as managing editor. Source: UH Dept. of Linguistics.

Is there an issue that you’re particularly proud of?

I’m especially proud of vol. 54, no. 1, of June, 2015. Final copy goes from my laptop to UH Press for printing. However, as I was about to prepare the final files, Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu — the most powerful hurricane in Vanuatu’s history. We were without water for a few days and without power for two weeks. My son purchased a tiny gasoline generator, which kept lights and refrigerator going … and allowed OL 54(1) to be produced to deadline!

Do you have any advice for those interested in submitting to Oceanic Linguistics? What are you looking for in future issues?

Two things: 1) Find a topic that is interesting to other people, not just to you. And 2) write simply and clearly.


About the Journal

Oceanic Linguistics is the only journal devoted exclusively to the study of the indigenous languages of the Oceanic area and parts of Southeast Asia.

Subscriptions

Annual subscription rates are US$120 for institutions and US $40 for individuals. Click here to subscribe.

Submissions

All submissions and editorial inquiries should be addressed to John Lynch, Editor, at oceanic@hawaii.edu.

Oceanic Linguistics on set of sci-fi film, Arrival

The 2016 science-fiction film Arrival features Dr. Louise Banks, who is called upon to communicate with aliens after they arrive on Earth. The linguistics professor, played by Amy Adams, is shown in this publicity still in her office full of linguistics books and journals, including Oceanic Linguistics!

Publicity still from Arrival via Language Log.

According to “The making of a cinematic linguist’s office” on Language Log, the books in Dr. Banks’ office were borrowed from the film’s linguist consultants at McGill University, including Jessica Coon, Morgan Sonderegger, and Lisa deMena Travis (who published in Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 39 Issue 1).

Though set designers were less interested in titles than blue and beige colored covers, it’s great to see Oceanic Linguistics on the big screen. The current cover design (left) was launched in the journal’s fifth volume in the Summer of 1966, with a cover stock update (right) in 2009.

This year, Oceanic Linguistics will unveil a new cover for this longstanding linguistics journal that continues to grow with its field. Stay tuned for the new cover and an interview with editor John Lynch.

Learn more about Oceanic Linguistics here.

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 55, no. 2 (2016)

Figure from Tom Hoogervorst's Problematic Protoforms: 1) Indian śula (after Bunce 1975:278); 2) Javanese suligi (after Raffles 1817:appendix);" "3) Javanese baḍik (ibidem)."

Figure from Tom Hoogervorst’s Problematic Protoforms: 1) Indian śula (after Bunce 1975:278); 2) Javanese suligi (after Raffles 1817:appendix);”
“3) Javanese baḍik (ibidem).”

Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 55, No. 2 includes the following works:

ARTICLES

  • The Plural Marker in Kove, an Oceanic Language of Papua New Guinea by Hiroko Sato
  • Conditioned Sound Changes in the Rapanui Language: by Albert Davletshin
  • Semantic Verb Classes and Regularity of Voice Paradigms in Tagalog by Sergei B. Klimenko and Divine Angeli P. Endriga
  • Bride-price, Baskets, and the Semantic Domain of “Carrying” in a Matrilineal Society by Deborah Hill
  • Imperatives and Commands in Manambu by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
  • …and more

IN Memoriam

  • Ann Chowning, 1929-2016

REVIEWS

  • Rob van Albada and Th. Pigeaud’s Javaans-Nederlands Woodenboek reviewed by Stuart Robson
  • Joel Bradshaw reviews Karl Neuhaus’s Grammar of the Lihir Language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

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Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 55, no. 1 (2016)

The location of languages of Timor, Map1 from the Oceanic Linguistics vol. 55 no. 1 article, “Parallel Sound Correspondences in Uab Meto” by Owen Edwards.

ARTICLES in Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 55, No. 1:

  • Time as Space Metaphor in Isbukun Bunun: A Semantic Analysis by Shuping Huang
  • Pluractionality in Ranmo by Jenny Lee
  • Parallel Sound Correspondences in Uab Meto by Own Edwards
  • Indirect Possessive Hosts in North Ambrym: Evidence for Gender by Michael Franjieh
  • Raising out of CP in Mod-Asp Adverbial Verb Constructions in Amis by Yi-Ting Chen
  • The Noun-Verb Distinction in Kanakanavu and Saaroa: Evidence from Pronouns by Stacy F. Teng and Elizabeth Zeitoun
  • Reassessing the Position of Kanakanavu and Saaroa among the Formosan Languages by Elizabeth Zeitoun and Stacy F. Teng
  • Magi: An Undocumented Language of Papua New Guinea by Don Daniels
  • On the Development of the Lexeme aya in Paiwan by Fuhui Hsieh
  • Kelabit-Lun Dayeh Phonology, with Special Reference to the Voiced Aspirates by Robert Blust
  • Reviews by Victoria Chen, Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, Gary Holton, and Tyler Heston

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Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 54, no. 2 (2015)

View of the Constellation Mannap, Figure 1 from the Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 54 No. 2 article, "East is Not a 'Big Bird': The Etymology of the Star Altair in the Carolinian Sidereal Compass by Gary Holton, Calistus Hachibmai, Ali Halelayur, Jerry Lipka, and Donald Rubenstein.

View of the Constellation Mannap, Figure 1 from the Oceanic Linguistics vol. 54 no. 2 article, “East is Not a ‘Big Bird’: The Etymology of the Star Altair in the Carolinian Sidereal Compass” by Gary Holton, Calistus Hachibmai, Ali Halelayur, Jerry Lipka, and Donald Rubenstein.

Special this issue: In Memoriam

The new issue details the lives of two brilliant linguists. Robert Blust pays tribute to George William Grace (1921-2015), who became editor of the journal in 1962 and held the editorship for 30 years. Blust writes:

George Grace was never flashy, never one who sought out recognition, but he saw through the grand schemes of others who had greater ambition, rather like the little boy who saw what the emperor was really wearing, and stated it in plain language. He will be remembered for his broad knowledge of Oceanic languages, his trailblazing originality as a thinker, and his rock solid insights into the nature of language change.

Andrew Paley remembers Frantisek (Frank) Lichtenberk (1945-2015), who died in a train accident in Auckland this Spring, after a 40-year career of outstanding contributions to descriptive and comparative-historical research on Oceanic languages. Paley details Lichtenberk’s “rich legacy of achievements and good memories” in the issue. Continue reading

Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 54, no. 1 (2015)

ARTICLES

Finiteness in Sundanese
Eri Kurniawan, William D. Davies, 1
The topic of finiteness is rarely broached in the closely related Indonesian-type languages, in which verbs have no morphological tense marking, nouns have no overt case marking, and there is only limited morphological agreement. As they are the typical morphological manifestations, the relevance of finiteness is difficult to discern. Sundanese is no exception to this. There is evidence, however, that finiteness is critical to the licensing of subjects in Sundanese. What distinguishes Sundanese from many other languages is that finiteness is covert rather than being overtly marked, just as has been proposed for Chinese, Lao, Slave, and others.

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