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

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 23, 1999, 2:09
> This is what I have pictured for Boreanesian. The Boreanesians migrated > from Japan before sea levels rose over 10K years ago. Japanese, Korean, > and Ainu are all verb-final. So Boreanesian was perhaps a verb-final > language. But due to an areal influence from the surrounding Austronesian > 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 postpositionality 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. --And.