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What is in the Alorese lexicon

Monday 29 April 2019
Descriptive and Anthropological Linguistics Discussion Group
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 1
2311 BZ Leiden


In this talk, I will discuss the usefulness of using oral history as background knowledge in historical linguistic reconstruction of Alorese (spoken in East Indonesia). I will also discuss the historical phonology of Alorese within the Western Lamaholot subgroup. Although Alorese is deemed to be part of Western Lamaholot (Doyle, 2010; Elias, 2017; Michels, 2017; Fricke, to appear), how Alorese relates to the other Western Lamaholot varieties is not known yet. I will present phonological and lexical evidence on how Alorese is related to Western Lamaholot in the context of higher levels e. g. Proto Flores-Lembata and Proto Malayo-Polynesian. The evidence shows that Alorese split off from Western Lamaholot not so long ago, which is supported by oral history. Moreover, lexical evidence shows that Alorese retains old forms while Western Lamaholot innovated new forms, which suggests that Alorese is lexically more conservative compared to other Western Lamaholot varieties.

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