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New book

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Thursday, July 8, 2004, 16:01
Jumping on my hobby-horse....
I've received from the author a pre-pub copy of:'

Aone van Engelenhoven:  Leti, a language of Southwest Maluku. KITLV Press,
Leiden. (due 9/30, according to Amazon, $45, not too bad for a 400+ pg.

It's a revised version of his doctoral diss. He is a native speaker of the
language, though I'm not sure whether he was born over there or in the
Netherlands.  Excellent English, excellent writing style. There is a long
section with texts and interlinear.

Leti and its relatives are a group of languages in the little islands off
East Timor; they have fascinated me for years, and I've mentioned it/them
here before-- these are languages that have metathesis all over the place
(though there are other ways of viewing it). It works morphophonemically as
well as in the flow of speech-- the lang. seems to favor and strive for
sequences of ..VCCVCCVCC..., curious since it descends from, and is neighbor
to, langs. with predominant CVCV(C) structure (and has a substantial number
of CVCV forms itself).

AN *kulit 'skin' > Leti ulti, ulit-, 3d sg. possessive ulat/ni 'his...'

au 'I' + la: 'go' > [alwa:] (la: itself < *lakaw)

There's a long paper on this by Eliz. Hume in the Rutgers Optimality
Archive; unfortunately it assumes full knowledge of OT and is difficult for
the uninitiated....but the examples are clear.

This may provide grist for someone's conlang mill.

My gestating conlang Prevli (~pervil, pervil/tä, a/prevli/t) attempts to
imitate some of Leti's features, so far with difficulty; I'm trying to
include vowel harmony.