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Linguistic Typology

Founded by Plank, Frans

Editor-in-Chief: Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.304

CiteScore 2017: 0.45

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.285
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.810

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Volume 8, Issue 3


Linguistic and social typology: The Austronesian migrations and phoneme inventories

Peter Trudgill
Published Online: 2005-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lity.2004.8.3.305


There is a challenging issue for linguistic typology which involves the relationships which might exist between societal type and aspects of linguistic structure. Linguistic-typological studies have provided us with insights into the range of structures available in human languages, but we do not yet have explanations for why, of all the possible structures available, particular languages select particular structures and not others. A legitimate sociolinguistic viewpoint would be that some social explanations may be available. The sociolinguistic factors suggested as being relevant are language contact versus isolation, and community size and network structure. This paper deals with this thesis from the point of view of Austronesian phonology, with particular reference to Polynesian phoneme inventories.

Keywords: areal linguistics; Austronesian; community size; language contact; phoneme inventories; Polynesian; social structure

About the article

Correspondence address: Département d'anglais et slavistique, Université de Fribourg, Miséricorde, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland; e-mail:

Received: 5 November 2002

Revised: 4 August 2003

Published Online: 2005-07-27

Published in Print: 2004-10-20

Citation Information: Linguistic Typology, Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 305–320, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lity.2004.8.3.305.

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