The higher phylogeny of Austronesian and the position of Tai-Kadai

Abstract : This paper presents a new higher phylogeny for the Austronesian family, based on three independent lines of evidence: the observation of a hierarchy of implications among the numerals from 5 to 10 in the languages of Formosa and in PMP; the finding that the numerals *pitu '7', *walu '8' and *Siwa '9' can be derived from longer additive expressions meaning 5+2, 5+3 and 5+4, preserved in Pazeh, using only six sound changes; and the observation that the phylogeny which can be extracted from these and other innovations -mostly changes in the basic vocabulary- evinces a coherent spatial pattern, whereby an initial Austronesian settlement in NW Taiwan expanded unidirectionally counterclockwise along the coastal plain, circling the island in a millennium or so. In the proposed phylogeny, Malayo-Polynesian is a branch of Muic, a taxon which also includes NE Formosan (Kavalan plus Ketagalan). The ancestor language: Muish, is deemed to have been spoken in or near NE Formosan. Further evidence that the The Tai-Kadai languages, contrary to common sense, are a subgroup of Austronesian (specifically: a branch of Muic, coordinate with PMP and NE Formosan) is presented.
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Laurent Sagart. The higher phylogeny of Austronesian and the position of Tai-Kadai. Oceanic Linguistics, 2004, 43 (2), pp.411-444. ⟨halshs-00090906⟩

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