Traces of language contact: The Flores-Lembata languages in eastern Indonesia
On the 13th of November, Hanna Fricke successfully defended her doctoral thesis and graduated. The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics congratulates Hanna on this achievement.
- Hanna Fricke
- 13 November 2019
- Leiden University Repository
This dissertation reconstructs the history of the Flores-Lembata languages (Austronesian, eastern Indonesia) by investigating traces of contact in the lexicon and grammar. Part I fills a gap in the documentation of the Flores-Lembata languages by providing a descriptive grammar of the previously undescribed Central Lembata language. Part II researches the history of the phonology and the lexicon of the Flores-Lembata languages and provides evidence for both inherited lexical items and a non-Austronesian lexical substrate. Part III examines morpho-syntactic features and their history of contact. Eight atypical structural features of the Flores-Lembata languages are described and evaluated on their potential of being the result of contact with non-Austronesian languages of the area.It is proposed that the Flores-Lembata languages have been in contact with one or more languages typologically similar to the non-Austronesian Alor-Pantar languages that are currently spoken on two adjacent islands. This contact between Flores-Lembata languages and non-Austronesian languages must have been ongoing since the time of Proto-Flores-Lembata until after the break-up of the family into subgroups. The Lamaholot subgroups have gained more non-Austronesian features than the other subgroups. This suggests that the contact of each of the subgroups must have varied in intensity and length.