IP2: Linguistic Prehistory

The Alor-Pantar Languages

Map of the Alor-Pantar languages

This NSF-funded project focuses on the linguistic prehistory of the Papuan (non-Austronesian) languages the of Alor-Pantar archipelago of southeastern Indonesia. The Alor-Pantar languages represent one of only two groups of non-Austronesian languages in Indonesia outside of the island of New Guinea; the remaining languages of Indonesia belong to the Austronesian family. A comparison of pronouns suggests a genetic relationship between the Alor-Pantar languages and New Guinea languages located some 1000 km distant. Until very recently the 15-20 Alor-Pantar languages have remained among the least well-documented languages of Indonesia, but a surge in field work efforts over the past decade has resulted in a wealth of new language data.. This project will bring new and recently-collected data to bear on the question of the linguistic origins and ultimate genetic relationships of the Alor-Pantar languages.

The initial project duration is 1 August 2009 through 31 January 2012.

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