New books from Pacific Linguistics

John Bowden John.Bowden at
Thu Jun 20 02:24:01 UTC 2002

Pacific Linguistics is pleased to announce the publication of the following 
new books:

Kikusawa, Ritsuko, 2002. Proto Central Pacific ergativity:
Its reconstruction and development in the Fijian, Rotuman and Polynesian 

François, Alexandre, 2002. Araki: A disappearing language of Vanuatu

Bennardo, Giovanni (ed), 2002. Representing space in Oceania: Culture in 
language and mind.

Please note that all prices are given in Australian dollars. AU $1.00 = 
approx. US $0.57 (as at 20 June, 2002). Australian prices include 10% Goods 
and Services Tax (GST). International sales are exempt from GST. To order 
Pacific Linguistics books, email ann.andrews at or refer to PL's 

Proto Central Pacific ergativity:
Its reconstruction and development in the Fijian, Rotuman and Polynesian 
Kikusawa, Ritsuko
PL 520
         The main objective of this study is to determine the actancy 
system (ergativity or accusativity) of Proto Central Pacific, and to 
determine how this system developed in its daughter languages, Fijian and 
Rotuman, which are accusative, as well as in the Polynesian languages, some 
of which are ergative.  It is shown that an ergative system has to be 
reconstructed for Proto Central Pacific, based on the presence of two sets 
of clitic pronouns (Genitive and Nominative) used for the core arguments of 
transitive constructions.  A set of independent pronouns is also 
reconstructed.  These pronominal forms are shown to be reflexes of Proto 
Malayo-Polynesian reconstructions.  The process by which the ergative 
parent language changed into some of its accusative daughter languages is 
         The following points in this work may be of particular 
interest:  1) a description of clear cases where the actancy systems change 
from ergative to accusative;  2) an illustration of how syntactic, 
phonological, morphological, and/or lexical changes are synthesised;  3) 
typological descriptions of three Central Pacific languages, namely 
Rotuman, Fijian, and Tongan, applying Lexicase Dependency Grammar;  5) a 
modification to the currently accepted subgrouping hypothesis for the 
Central Pacific group.

ISBN 0 85883 438 3      xxii + 213 pp.
AUS $53.90      International $49.00

Araki: A disappearing language of Vanuatu
François, Alexandre
PL 522
         Araki, an unwritten Austronesian language belonging to the Oceanic 
subgroup, is now spoken by less than a dozen people in a small islet of 
Vanuatu; it is likely to disappear very soon. As the first ever publication 
about this language, the present study covers all that it has been possible 
to gather from it.
The core of this book is a grammatical description of Araki: attention has 
been paid to its phonology and morphology, the inventory of syntactic 
categories, the internal organisation of noun and verb phrases, the 
semantics of aspect and mood, complex sentence construction, and many other 
topics which illustrate the originality of this language. A bilingual 
lexicon is also provided, as well as a selection of texts.

ISBN 0 85883 493 6              xxi + 353 pp
AUS $69.30      International $63.00

Representing space in Oceania
Bennardo, Giovanni (ed)
PL 523
         Oceania has traditionally been the ‘place’ in which great debates 
about the human condition have been started, conducted, and sometimes 
resolved.  The articles in this volume prove once more the vitality of the 
research conducted in this geographically vast and culturally varied area 
of the world. This book contributes to the investigation of space as a 
knowledge domain, in particular to the linguistic, mental and cultural 
representations of spatial relationships in Oceania.  It emphasises the 
significance and usefulness of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural 
research, and cultural area surveys. This volume is of interest not only to 
cultural and linguistic anthropologists, but also to linguists and 
cognitive psychologists, and to scholars and students of Oceania.

ISBN 0 85883 454 5      vii + 260 pp
AUS $64.90      International $59.00

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