Category Archives: Oceanic Linguistics

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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Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 53, no. 2 (2014)

ARTICLES

Complex Noun Phrases and Formal Licensing in Isbukun Bunun
Hsiao-hung Iris Wu, 207

This paper investigates the syntactic status of nominal modifiers in Isbukun Bunun, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan. In Isbukun Bunun, nominal modifiers such as possessors, adjectives, demonstratives, and relative clauses precede the head noun they modify, and they may or must be linked to the head noun by an associative marker tu. Based on the observed NP-ellipsis facts and the formal licensing condition, I argue that the associative marker tu is a complementizer, and the structure it introduces should be accommodated under the adjunction analysis, whereas various existing alternative complementation approaches that view tu as a head selecting the modified phrase as its complement fail to capture the noted properties regarding ellipsis.
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Oceanic Linguistics, vol. 52, no. 2 (2013)

ARTICLES

On the Analysis of Tone in Mee (Ekari, Ekaugi, Kapauku)
Larry M. Hyman and Niko Kobepa, 307

In this paper we present the tonal properties of Mee, a Wissel Lakes Papuan language known also as Ekari, Ekagi, and Kapauku. Since the previous accounts in the literature have been highly inadequate, allowing contradictory claims of tone, pitch-accent, and/or stress, we document the word-prosodic system and show that it is quite simple: Mee words can have a pitch drop from H to L either after the first mora or the second mora of the word. Corresponding to this simplicity, however, is a wide range of compatible interpretations. We consider how several analyses fare with respect to noun tone patterns, as well as verb tones, which are partly determined by the verb root, partly by inflectional features. From a typological perspective, the Mee system falls into the same category as Tokyo Japanese, Somali, Western Basque, and Mayo, which have also been subject to differing interpretations.
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