To Polynesian Experts

Frédéric Plessis Frederic.Plessis at
Wed Feb 17 08:39:38 UTC 1999

This message was written 1 week ago in reply to Per Hage 's query on
Proto-Polynesian sibling terms but I have got troubles to post it.

Dear Austronesianists,

I don't think that 'tukana'- eSib and atua 'God, deity' are related. As
Marck said, tuakana is a reflex of the well-known PMP protoform.(k)aka
'e//Sib'.(see Blust 1980 Early austronesian social organization). In
western Austronesian languages however, aka-kaka reflexes have the meaning
'elder sibling'. The feature 'same-sex sibling' associated with relative
age is only attested in Eastern indonesia and Oceania, but not in the
western part.
Another term (*tuqah) is also attested to denote seniority in An languages.
Reflexes of *tuqah (sometimes shortened as wa') are also used to denote
parent's elder siblings. 'mature, ripe' seems to be the primary meaning of
Blust proposed (1980) ma(n)tuqah as the PMP term for Mother's Brother,
parent-in-law. I rather think that *tuqah is a broad term denoting
seniority (grandparent, parent's elder sibling, elder sibling..)

The first element in tukana could be an fossilized prefixe **tu- (denoting
reference). Similar prefixes are also found in the languages of Sulawesi
(see Barr 1988)
references could be found in my website:

*atua probably comes from PMP*.atuan 'god, deity'(see Blust 1995). for reference

 **tua- in the proto-polynesian terms *tua-ngaqane 'B (w.s) and *tua-fafine
Z (m.s) could be related to *tuRan(ng) (see Chowning 1991, Marck 1995)but
the exact meaning of PMP.tuRang is yet to be discovered.

Then *tuakana could be morphologically analysed as :

(1) tu-aka-na (prefix tu- + aka + na)
(2) tua-aka-na (**tua > POC.tuqa 'old, mature')
(3) tua-aka-na (** tua > POC.tuRa(ng) 'consanguine of Ego's generation')

note : the element **tua- also appears in the compound word tuatina 'MB' -
see Marck (1995)

Frédéric Plessis
PhD candidate, EHESS-Paris (France)

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