The argument indexing of early Austronesian verbs

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This paper re-examines the Proto Austronesian (PAn) split-clitic construction, which has had a considerable influence on the reconstruction of Austronesian morphosyntactic history, suggests that it is a myth, and proposes alternative reconstructions, on the basis of data from Austronesian languages of Taiwan. At the same time the paper exemplifies and reinforces the observation by scholars of historical morphosyntax that cognate constructions across languages need to be identified not only on the basis of syntactic similarity but also on the basis of cognate morphology. Without the latter, there is no strong evidence of cognacy, as similar syntax may occur through parallel development, chance or contact.


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