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Topological Relations in Pohnpeian

  • Bradley Rentz EMAIL logo
From the journal Linguistics Vanguard


This article explores a more nuanced understanding of topological relations in the Pohnpeian language (Austronesian). The BowPed Toolkit (Bowerman Melissa and Pederson Eric 1992. Topological relations picture series. In Space stimuli kit 1.2: November 1992, 51, Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. is employed as an elicitation tool with five Pohnpeian speakers. Evolutionary classification tree modeling is used as a discovery tool to find patterns in the data. The results show that the two prepositions in Pohnpeian, nan and ni, should be redefined in terms of topological relations as ‘containment’ and ‘attachment’ respectively. Likewise the meaning of some prepositional nouns are further revised.


I would like to thank Andrea Berez-Kroeker, Gary Holton, Bradley McDonnell, Kenneth Rehg, Robert Andreas, Carisma Jano, and two anonymous reviewers for their help and comments with this project. All remaining faults are my own. Most of all I would like to thank Linda Kihleng-Albert, Maurina Ludwig, Dusty Santos, Joshua Fredrick, and Robinson Fredrick for sharing their knowledge and allowing me to write about their language. Kalahngan en kupwuromwail!


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 Full evolutionary tree model

Full evolutionary tree model

Received: 2016-11-8
Accepted: 2017-2-4
Published Online: 2017-8-1

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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