Talk by Alexander Adelaar


  • Datum: 15.07.2016
  • Uhrzeit: 12:00 - 13:30
  • Vortragende(r): Alexander Adelaar
  • University of Cologne / University of Melbourne
  • Ort: MPI SHH Jena
  • Raum: Villa V14
  • Gastgeber: Abteilung Sprach- und Kulturevolution
  • Kontakt:
"Malagasy linguistic history and the development of Malagasy body-part terms"
In this paper I give a short overview of recent insights into the history of Madagascar, which are based on multidisciplinary evidence.
I also explain the various origins of Malagasy body-part terms and try to interpret them in a general socio-historical context.
Most Malagasy body-part terms are inherited from Proto Malayo-Polynesian or Proto Southeast Barito (the language directly ancestral to Malagasy and languages spoken along the Barito River in South Borneo, the linguistic homeland of Malagasy).
Another large category consists of loanwords (mainly from Malay). It also includes a few loanwords from Bantu languages and some Malay loanwords that are ultimately Middle Indian.
Two terms are the result of “homonymies fâcheuses”, that is, they originated through the replacement or reduction of homonyms that otherwise had the potential also to refer to something awkward.
Finally, there are quite a few terms that are (or seem to be) Malay in origin but their source words do not refer to body-part terms. The source words in question refer to concepts that are only metaphorically related to body-parts and sometimes have a negative connotation vis-à-vis the resulting body-part term in Malagasy.

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