PNCV *koro / *qoro root, "to fence"

Alexandre FRANCOIS alex_francois at
Fri Apr 23 23:31:17 UTC 1999

Dear colleagues,

I would be very pleased to read any information about a Proto-Oceanic
root which was reconstructed *qoro / *koro for PNCV
[=Proto-North-Central-Vanuatu] by Ross Clark (1985, Pac.Ling. C-88)
after Andrew Pawley (1972, Studies in Oceanic culture history) ; Mota
/goro/ is an example of this root (Codrington 1896).

It should have several meanings, from "cover" / "surround", to
"obstruct", "prevent", etc. It could be related to notions like
"fence, "enclosure", "cut around", according to Clark's hints. He
actually gives two references of Andrew's works, one of which is a
1977 unpublished manuscript ("POC reconstructions"), and the other one
I couldn't find so far.

Can anybody tell me what he knows about that root, from the
diachronical viewpoint as well as the synchronical (does it show up at
all among Polynesian languages ?), including semantic (different
) and syntactic issues ? Does it behave like a verb, a verbal
suffix, a preposition, or may it have been a noun at some date,
meaning for instance "fence" [cf. Mota /geara/, if it is related to
it] ?

If no word in the modern languages you know appears to share the same
origin, at least have you heard similar semantic associations (fence /
protect / prevent s.o. from doing s.t. / against / keep s.t.
secret...) are common throughout the area, although with different
etymologies ?

Any references or data appreciated,


Alexandre FRANCOIS
Paris (LACITO)

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