polynesian_cognate_set - Reconstructing...

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Reconstructing Proto-Polynesian (PP N ) Irwin J. Howard and Byron W. Bender Department of Linguistics University of Hawai‘i at Mânoa Instructions: On the basis of the 41 words in five sister languages given in table 1 below, reconstruct the sound system of Proto-Polynesian. This task is less difficult than it appears if you approach it step-by-step. 1. Determine each set of sound correspondences . For example, Haw ‘, Mao k, Sam ‘, Tak k, Ton k is one set. It is found, first of all, in the second syllable of No. 1. ‘learn, teach’. For ease of reference, write the numbers of the examples containing each correspondence after each correspondence on the same row. List the correspondence sets you find in the format of the following example, which gives the four correspondence sets to be found in the first word (with each corresponding sound in the same left-to-right order of the languages), each followed by the numbers of all the examples in which the same correspondence set recurs. (The blank preceding each correspondence set will be filled in with Step 3 below.) ___ Ø / Ø / Ø / Ø / Ø 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 13, 23, 25, 36 ___ a / a / a / a / a 1, 2, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 16, . . . ___ ‘ / k / ‘ / k / k 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 16, 21, 28, 38 ___ o / o / o / o / o 1, 3, 3, 4, 10, 13, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 23 HINT: In Polynesian languages, one can expect to find consonants and vowels alternating in a CV.CV. . . . pattern, but with the C sometimes missing from a given syllable. Record these missing consonants with a zero (Ø) in your correspondence sets. Thus the first correspondence set in the example records the fact that an initial consonant is missing from the words for ‘learn, teach’ in each of the five languages. Do not mix vowels and consonants in the same correspondence set. There are three special consonant symbols used in the words: the “‘ okina ” of Hawaiian and Samoan (a glottal stop) ¥ the velar nasal that occurs in Mâori, Samoan, and Tongan wh the wh combination in Mâori; consider this as a single consonant, a bilabial voiceless fricative Because the correspondence sets recur, you will find that there are a limited number of them. Although the first word yields four, and we might therefore expect 41 × 4, or a total of 164, the actual total turns out to be just over 20, because the same sets recur so often. (This means that each sound in the parent language changed in the same way in the same places in the many words in which it was found.) It is this recurring regularity that helps us show that all five languages were earlier one-and-the-same language, which we call Proto-Polynesian, and it is why we are able to use the metaphors “parent language” and “daughter languages.”
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Ignore the underlined words. Do not confuse discontinuous correspondences (blanks in correspondence sets resulting from absent cognates) with the zero consonants in cognate words. The underlined words are thought to have replaced earlier cognate words
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polynesian_cognate_set - Reconstructing...

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