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Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Kulikov, Leonid

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Fitting the pieces together – Towards a linguistic prehistory of eastern-central South Asia (and beyond)

John Peterson
Published Online: 2017-09-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jsall-2017-0008

Abstract

This study summarizes preliminary research into the distribution of morphosyntactic patterns in the languages of South Asia from three different families, above all in eastern-central South Asia, in a first attempt to unravel the linguistic prehistory of this part of the subcontinent. To achieve this goal a small, preliminary morphosyntactic database has been compiled on 29 languages from throughout South Asia based on data from published resources, original field work, as well as questionnaires sent out to researchers working on a number of languages from the region. This data base, although still quite limited, will serve as the starting point for a much larger, finer-grained analysis of languages from throughout the subcontinent which will ultimately contribute substantially to our knowledge of the linguistic prehistory of this region.

Keywords: language contact; Munda; Indo-Aryan; typology in historical linguistics

Literature

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A. References

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  • Abbi, Anvita. 2009. Is Great Andamanese genealogically and typologically distinct from Onge and Jarawa? Language Sciences 31(6). 791–812.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Anderson, Gregory D.S. 2007. The Munda verb. Typological perspectives. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Anderson, Gregory D.S. & Norman H. Zide. 2001. Recent advances in the reconstruction of the Proto-Munda verb. In Laurel J. Brinton (ed.), Historical Linguistics 1999, 13–30. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Barnard, Alan. 2016. Language in prehistory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Basu, Analabha, Neeta Sarkar-Roy & Partha P. Majumder. 2016. Genomic reconstruction of the history of extant populations of India reveals five distinct ancestral components and a complex structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA): 1513197113v1-201513197Google Scholar

  • Bickel, Balthasar, Walter Bisang & Yogendra P. Yādava. 1999. Face vs. empathy: The social foundation of Maithili verb agreement. Linguistics 37(3). 481–518.Google Scholar

  • Bickel, Balthasar & Johanna Nichols. 2007. Inflectional morphology. In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description. Volume III: Grammatical categories and the lexicon, 2nd edn, 169–240. New York & Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Bloch, Jule. 1934. L’indo-aryen. Du Veda aux temps modernes. (Librairie d’Amérique et d’Orient.) Paris: Adrien–Maisonneuve.Google Scholar

  • Bronkhorst, Johannes. 2007. Greater Magadha. Studies in the culture of early India. Leiden & Boston: Brill.Google Scholar

  • Bryant, David & Vincent Moulton. 2004. Neighbor-Net: An agglomerative method for the construction of phylogenetic networks. Molecular Biology and Evolution 21(2). 255–265.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Campbell, Lyle. 2013. Historical linguistics. An introduction, 3rd edn. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

  • Chaubey, Gyaneshwer, Mait Metspalu, Ying Choi, Reedik Mägi, Irene Gallego Romero, Pedro Soares, Mannis Van Oven, Doron M. Behar, Siiri Rootsi, Georgi Hudjashov, Chandana Basu Mallick, Monika Karmin, Mari Nelis, Jüri Parik, Aalla Goverdhana Reddy, Ene Metspalu, George Van Driem, Yali Xue, Chris Tyler-Smith, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Lalji Singh, Maido Remm, Martin B. Richards, Marta Mirazon Lahr, Manfred Kayser, Richard Villems & Toomas Kivisild. 2010. Population genetic dtructure in Indian Austroasiatic speakers: The role of landscape barriers and sex-specific Admixture. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28(2). 1013–1024.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Chaubey, Gyaneshwer, Mait Metspalu, Toomas Kivisild & Richard Villems. 2006. Peopling of South Asia: investigating the caste–tribe continuum in India. BioEssays 29. 91–100.Google Scholar

  • Donegan, Patricia & David Stampe. 2004. Rhythm and the synthetic drift of Munda. In Rajendra Singh (ed.), The Yearbook of South Asian Languages and Linguistics, 3–36. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Ebert, Karen H. 1993. Kiranti subordination in the South Asian areal context. In Karen H. Ebert (ed.), Studies in clause linkage: Papers from the First Köln–Zürich Workshop, 83–110. Zurich: Universität Zürich.Google Scholar

  • Ebert, Karen H. 1999. Nonfinite verbs in Kiranti languages – An areal perspective. In Yogendra P. Yadava & Warren W. Glover (eds.), Topics in Nepalese linguistics, 371–400. Kalamadi, Kathmandu: Royal Nepal Academy.Google Scholar

  • Elfenbein, J. 1998. Brahui. In Sanford B. Steever (ed.), The Dravidian languages (Routledge Language Family Descriptions), 388–414. London & New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Emeneau, Murray B. 1956. India as a linguistic area. Language 32. 3–16.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Enfield, Nick J. 2005. Areal linguistics and mainland Southeast Asia. Annual Review of Anthropology 34. 181–206.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Fuller, Dorian. 2003. An agricultural perspective on Dravidian historical linguistics: Archaeological crop packages, livestock and Dravidian crop volcabulary. In Peter Bellwood & Colin Renfrew (eds.), Examining the farming/language dispersal hypothesis. McDonald Institute Monographs, 191–213. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.Google Scholar

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About the article

Published Online: 2017-09-28

Published in Print: 2017-09-26


Citation Information: Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics, Volume 4, Issue 2, Pages 211–257, ISSN (Online) 2196-078X, ISSN (Print) 2196-0771, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jsall-2017-0008.

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