“The Austronesian Languages (Revised Edition, 2013),” by Robert Blust


by Robert Blust

This is a revised edition of the 2009 The Austronesian languages, which was published as a paperback in the then Pacific Linguistics series (ISBN 9780858836020). This revision includes typographical corrections, an improved index, and various minor content changes. The release of the open access edition serves to meet the strong ongoing demand for this important handbook, of which only 200 copies of the first edition were printed.

This is the first single-authored book that attempts to describe the Austronesian language family in its entirety. Topics covered include: the physical and cultural background, official and national languages, largest and smallest languages in all major geographical regions, language contact, sound systems, linguistic palaeontology, morphology, syntax, the history of scholarship on Austronesian languages, and a critical assessment of the reconstruction of Proto Austronesian phonology.


Robert Blust is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawaii. He has authored over 200 publications, mostly in the field of Austronesian comparative linguistics, but with forays into linguistically-guided ethnology.

“Eastern, or Phan Rang Cham, and Western Cham are dialects of a single language, but differ significantly in location, contact influences and number of speakers, and so are listed separately…

…The only other published report of gender-based speech differences in AN languages is that of Blood (1961), who noted male/female differences for speakers of Cham in Vietnam. Usually the differences are phonological, but they may be lexical. According to Blood, phonological differences between men’s speech and women’s speech in Cham are often due to unequal access to the traditional Indian-based Cham script, which is typically a province of knowledge open to men but not to women. In effect, the speech of men may contain conservatisms that are a direct consequence of literary pronunciations. Blood emphasizes that not all men have these traits, thus implying that ‘women’s speech’ is simply the unmarked gender-neutral register, and that it is men’s speech that is deviant. Presumably because this deviant style is associated with prestige, Blood has treated it as basic, and treated the basic style as marked.”

Full Text (Open-Access) PDFhttp://bit.ly/Blust2013

Robert Blust



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