1887
Volume 48, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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Abstract

Summary

Linguistic historiography analyzes how linguistic knowledge has been acquired, stored, used and diffused. This article examines what can happen if linguists rely on copies of source data rather than the source data itself. It takes as a case study linguistic data from Siraya, a now-extinct Formosan language. Documents compiled in the seventeenth century by Dutch missionaries in Taiwan form a significant source of data for Siraya. One such document, a wordlist known as the Utrecht Manuscript (UM), is the principal source for the lexicon of one variety of Siraya, “Siraya Proper”. It has been published three times. Each edition, however, contains many errors. These editions, rather than the manuscript, have been used by scholars investigating Siraya. This article aims to correct errors in the editions and secondary literature on the UM with my readings of the manuscript itself. It therefore presents a more accurate record of the lexicon of “Siraya Proper” as well as illustrating the importance of using primary rather than secondary sources of linguistic data. Finally, it introduces an online edition of the UM, which will provide scholars and language revivalists with a useful resource for this lexicon.

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2021-11-30
2022-12-09
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