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Re: Boreanesian diachrony (was: RE: typology of V-initial lgs)

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 23, 1999, 15:38
And Rosta wrote:

>Kristian: >> This is what I have pictured for Boreanesian. The Boreanesians =
>> from Japan before sea levels rose over 10K years ago. Japanese, =
>> and Ainu are all verb-final. So Boreanesian was perhaps a verb-final >> language. But due to an areal influence from the surrounding =
>> languages, Boreanesian is now a verb-initial language with a post- >> positional holdover from ancient times. > >I don't see any reason why this couldn't be the case, but 10K years is >surely long enough for the word order parameters to oscillate several >times over. Hence, from a synchronic point of view, the =
>can't be relied on as evidence of earlier contact or relatedness with >Jap/Kor/Ainu (& I doubt we have any idea of what J/K/A were like 10K >years ago, either). And also, from a diachronic point of view, if >Boreanesian were postpositional 10K years ago, there'd be little >reason in particular to expect it to have remained so. >
Right! Boreanesian is meant to be unrelated to any language. The=20 Boreanesian venue is ideal in that the language would have developed in=20 isolation before the Austronesians arrived. I was merely trying to = attempt=20 to explain how/why Boreanesian would deviate so much from the = typological=20 norms of a V-initial language. Even if its not possible to establish an=20 early contact or relatedness with Jap/Kor/Ainu, from a synchronic point=20 of view, it is possible to imagine Boreanesian as once a V-final = language=20 since the V-initial Austronesians only arrived in Boreanesia about 3K = yrs=20 ago. -kristian- 8)