Lio and the Central Flores languages

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Lio and the Central Flores languages

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Lio and the Central Flores languages
Author: Elias, Alexander
Issue Date: 2018-11-30
Keywords: Eastern Indonesia
Austronesian linguistics
Descriptive linguistics
Languages of Flores
Historical linguistics
Abstract: This thesis consists of two interconnected parts: a synchronic section dealing with Lio phonology, and a diachronic section dealing with the internal relations of the Central Flores language group, of which Lio is a member. The first section is a description of the phonetics and phonology of Lio (Austronesian), a language spoken in Flores, an island in the Lesser Sunda island chain of eastern Indonesia. I describe the phonemic inventory, phonotactics, stress system and adaptation of loanwords into Lio. This is based on fieldwork carried out in Central Flores in July-August 2017 which focused mainly on Lio. This is a contribution to the state of linguistic documentation in Central Flores, which remains relatively poorly documented. This will also set the stage for the second part of the thesis, because Lio is an important language for reconstructing aspects of Proto-Central Flores. The second section is a historical analysis of the relations of the Central Flores languages, and a reconstruction of Proto-Central Flores. I present evidence that the Central Flores languages form a valid innovation-defined subgroup, which underwent a period of splitting and isolation at the level of Proto-Central Flores. Then I address the internal relations of the Central Flores group and the process of differentiation from Proto-Central Flores to the modern Central Flores languages. Lio is one of the more conservative members of the Central Flores group, and is crucial for distinguishing the reflexes of certain Proto-Central Flores phonemes. The Central Flores group forms a linkage, with patterns of intersecting isoglosses which are not easily captured in a tree diagram. Therefore, the findings of this section will be cast in the framework of Historical Glottometry, a wave model-based methodology which is better equipped to represent and model the relations holding between linkages.
Supervisor: Klamer, Prof. dr. M.A.F.
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Linguistics (Research master)
Specialisation: Linguistics
ECTS Credits: 30

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