Austronesian Root Theory

An essay on the limits of morphology

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Since the pioneering analyses of Renward Brandstetter (1860–1942) a quasi-morphological element called the ‘root’ has been recognized in Austronesian linguistics. This monograph confronts many of the methodological and substantive issues raised but never fully resolved by Brandstetter. In an effort to reassess the value of his work for contemporary linguistics the author examines Brandstetter’s methods and results, and applies a modified from of this approach to new material. The study establishes 230 roots based on more than 2,560 root tokens in some 117 languages. It is thus intended to serve as a rudimentary root dictionary and a basic handbook on the subject of the root for future scholars of Austronesian.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Morphology; Austronesian languages

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