Austronesian and Papuan Linguistics

Course description Austronesian and Papuan Linguistics
Year: 2013-2014
Catalog number: 5194KLD02Y
Teacher(s):
  • Dr. M.A.F. Klamer
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 10.0
Level: 500
Period: Semester 1, Block I, II
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • No Exchange
  • No Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Admission requirements

While the course is open for students without linguistic background, knowledge of basic linguistic terminology is assumed, and some background in historical linguistics and linguistic typology is advantageous.

Description

Course subject: Overview of recent developments in Austronesian and Papuan linguistics.

Together, the Austronesian (~1200 languages) and Papuan (~800 languages) represent about a third of the world’s languages. While the Austronesian family is an established genealogical unit, the term Papuan is generally used as a cover term for numerous language groups spoken on New Guinea and surroundings that are not Austronesian.

We consider the Austronesian and Papuan languages from two distinct angles:
(a) Genealogical: What is the evidence for family classifications? What are the assumptions and procedures used for genetic classification in general, and how do they apply to the languages of this region?
(b) Typological: What are typical structural features of Austronesian languages? How do they compare to typical features of Papuan languages, if such exist?

By relating the genealogical and typological observations we can observe that structural characteristics of languages have diffused across language family boundaries. The study of such areal distributions of structural characteristics helps to reconstruct possible scenario’s of ancient and more recent contact between groups of speakers. The area we focus on is Eastern Indonesia, a linguistically rich zone where Austronesian and Papuan languages have been in contact for millennia.

Course objectives

  1. To recognise the types of evidence used for the genealogical classification of Austronesian and Papuan languages.


    1. To be able to evaluate the validity of various types of evidence.
    2. To carry out a basic historical reconstruction task using primary data from the area.
    3. To understand the typological variety found in the Austronesian family and Papuan language groups.
    4. To present a historical and typological comparison of one or more features found in languages of the area.

Timetable

The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction

The course combines lectures with independent research on selected topics.

Course Load

  • time spent on attending lectures: 28 hours
  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 90 hours
  • time to prepare the two presentations: 40 hours
  • time to write a paper(including reading/research): 122 hours

Assessment Method

  • Oral presentations of 2 research assignments during the course: each 25%
  • A paper on the basis of one of the oral presentations: 50%

Blackboard

This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

To be announced at the beginning of the course.

Registration

Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail: ma-linguistics@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via: www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/alacarte
Registration Contractonderwijs via: http://www.hum.leidenuniv.nl/onderwijs/contractonderwijs/

Contact

MA Linguistics departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:ma-linguistics@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Languages