Re: Thoughts on Prevli
|From:||ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, August 11, 2007, 4:54|
Elliott Lash wrote:
> It looks like I would really like Leti, especially
>the anticipatory phenomena. Perhaps you could explain
>a bit more about how it works, how exactly does a
>form like 'pipdiuma' come about. It looks like
>everything gets squished together!
Not totally squished together; it seems to be restricted to constituents--
N+N compds., N+Adj IIRC, Pers+V(+adv. particles). The Hume paper, as I
recall, goes into this, as does van Engelenhoven's book cited below.
"pipdiuma" is simply pipi+duma; the /i/ metathesizes. There are
restrictions: /a/ doesn't met., it deletes; i/u don't met. with themselves,
only i+u/a or u+i/a; same with the verbal person prefixes. Also, the met. in
compds. seems to be optional, though apparently preferred.
Leti and its kin are indeed fascinating. You will need a pretty good library
to find the few sources--
1. J.C.G. Jonker: Lettineesche TaalstudiÃ«n, 1932: Verhandelingen van het
Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Letterkunde [van Ned. IndiÃ«] , vol.
LXIX --the Society was in existence IIRC from the 1790s to about 1950.
Jonker was the first to publish for a wider audience, but catechisms and
Bible stories were published from about the mid-late 1800s on. Lots of
quotes from them, plus informant work, and a good dictionary (he also
regularized the orthography).
2. Brand new, in English: Aone van Engelenhoven: Leti, a language of SW
Maluku, 2004. KITLV Press, Leiden (actually Verh. No. 211-- publ. of the
Dutch Koninklijke Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde) Might be
still available (Amazon), though no doubt at a frightening price (Aone was
kind enough to send me a copy-- he is a native speaker, and has published a
lot since around 1990, all in obscure conference papers.) Unlike Jonker, it
is more of a reference grammar, very thorough, with a ton of cultural
material-- it seems these people are clannish and rather secretive; his
being a clan-member got him access to a lot that wouldn't be shared with an
outsider. Revised, and I gather modern, orthography, no major conflicts
with Jonker. There are, or were, a few of his things online too.
Although Leti is now the best described of the entire group, it apparently
isn't the prestige lang.-- that distinction belongs to "Luangic" (or Moa),
which has undergone some sound changes, mainly *s > h and *w > some kind of
"palatal approximant" written "g" (????), and quite of bit of assim. of
vowel sequences. Leti is much more conservative phonologically.
3. A related language, recent, also in English: J.P.B. de Josselin de Jong:
Wetan Fieldnotes, 1987 VKI 130, Foris Publications, Doordrecht -- "VKI" =
Verhandelingen van het Kon. Inst. etc etc. Quite closely related, has the
same phenomena as Leti and then some. It's Josselin who suggests that they
might originate in fast speech forms. (Ed. by Bob Blust, based on J's field
work in the 1930s-- I have a nightmare vision of poor J lugging around a
huge recording phonograph, either wind-up or powered by car batteries.
Yipes. Or else he was a very good stenographer, and his informants were very
patient.......) Shows the same *s via h > 0 and *w > [j] and other changes
Perhaps 4. Mark Taber, 1993: Toward a better understanding of the indigenous
languages of Southwest Maluku. OcLing 32:2, 389-441 (online version yay!!!
at http://www.sil.org/silesr/1999/007/m_taber.PDF ) Basically a
Lexicostatistic analysis, with a 193 item wordlist, of 23 of the area's
languages (with typos :-( ), most of them probably relatable to Leti et al,
but at what level is very unclear.
5. My paper setting forth the epenthesis-syncope hypothesis from a
generative POV: Mills & John Grima, Historical developments in Lettinese,
1980. In Paz Naylor ed., Austronesian Studies. Mich. Papers on South and SE
Asia No. 15, Center for S and SEA Studies, Ann Arbor. Aone van E. very
kindly credits me with bringing these phenomena to the attention of the
current generation of scholars. I mentioned other area langs. that also show
metatheses of one sort or another.
SIL has been working in this area for some time, but their pubs. are very
hard to find; unfortunately they tend to be rather old-fashioned "phonemic"
analyses. Still, better than nothing.
If your library has any of the Proceedings of the (various) Intl. Confs. on
Austronesian Linguistics volumes, there are scattered articles, almost none
of which I've seen.
Michigan, I know, has Jonker and Josselin (in fact conplete runs of the
Bat.Soc. and KITLV stuff), and probably the CSSEA book. (The Verhandelingen
are special monographs; both also published a regular journal Tijdschrift
More, perhaps, than you wanted to know......:-)))))))))