Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Shubnani, anyone?

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 2, 2002, 15:20
Peter Clark wrote:

>Quoting Josh Brandt-Young <vionau@...>: >> On a connected topic, are there any Swadesh lists floating around the >> internet that you'd particularly recommend? > > Hmm...this is probably something that should go in the FAQ: >
Ho-- that's Wm. Annis, who used to be on Conlang (and perhaps is still lurking). His comments on the usefulness of the list (in the real world) are well-taken. As a conlanging tool,'s a start. I have several Swadesh lists from a variety of Indonesian languages, both 100- and 200-word versions, and am considering creating another website for some of my old research stuff before the ink fades totally.... The list needed tweaking for use over there (and probably in other areas too)-- e.g. in many of the small regional languages, man=husband, woman=wife, and (tree)bark is almost always a compd. of "skin"and "tree". It tends to vitiate the percentages. There was a widely used Dutch list in the 19th-early 20th C, the Holle List, 1200-1300 items specifically for use in Indonesia. Many of them are probably gathering dust in various basements in Holland or Jakarta. A few have been found and published (along with a full Engl. version of the List) in the ANU Pacific Linguistics series.
> Another word basic list can be found at,
>which gives about 500 "basic" words in Nauruan.
Fascinating. And Nauruan is supposed to be an Austronesian language........ Somewhere I have an old conference paper on the historical phonology whihc I'll have to dig up. Even that writer threw up his hands in dismay as I recall. I think Nauru, like New Caledonia, is one of those areas where the language(s) show something like 5% cognacy at best with any other AN lang., which according to pure Swadeshian theory is pretty close to chance resemblance.