Project aims

This project studies synchronic language data from the Lamaholot-Pantar-Alor (LPA) region to investigate (a) the history and dispersal of speakers of Papuan (Alor-Pantar) AP languages, and (b) their interactions with Austronesian speakers. It interweaves three lines of inquiry:


1. Project component P1: Chart social networks and reconstruct migration histories of population groups, through the qualitative study of linguistic traces of cultural contact (kinship terms, ritual language) and migration (toponyms).


2. Components P2-P3-P4: Reconstruct changes and retentions of words and grammatical structures, by investigating three contact settings, all representing Austronesian-Papuan contact but varying in direction of change (Austronesian > Papuan vs. Papuan > Austronesian), intensity, language status (equal/unequal), and time-depth (contemporary/ancient). By comparing processes and results in the respective settings, we can reconstruct the circumstances of contact.


3. Component P5: Cross-validate the qualitative results of P1-P4 through a quantitative study of traces of linguistic history and ancestral culture.

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Exploring the difference between linguistic borrowing and inheritance ...