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There is evidence that Amis and Puyuma subgroup together witin Puluqish, forming a northern group opposite Paiwan, MP and KD. Here are seven lexical innovations uniquely shared, as far as I know, by the two Northern Puluqish languages. The first three concern the numeral system.
- ‘one’ *sasay: Amis cacay ‘one’, Puyuma sasaya (< *sasa-y-a) ‘one’ (counting things). These forms reflect PAN *sa, short form of PAN *isa/esa ‘one’, with CV- reduplication, plus intrusive -y- inserted beween final -a in the word-base and the linker -a- following it. Thus Puyuma has ɖaɖua-ya ‘two’, iwaiwa-ya ‘nine’, but ta-taɭu-a ‘three’, pitu-pitu-a ‘seven’, waɭu-waɭu-a ‘eight’ (all counting things);
- ‘ten’ *puluq. By the etymology proposed here, a word *puluq meaning ‘to put aside’ was recruited in counting numbers above 10 in Proto-Puluqish; *puluq ‘(n) [sets of 10] put aside’ could only arise preceded and followed by a numeral. In numbers 11 to 19, the numeral for ‘one’ probably had the shape *sa-, as still in the other Puluqish languages: Paiwan tapuluʔ < *sa-puluq and PMP *sa-puluq. Once *puluq ‘put aside’ was lost as an independent morpheme, *puluq could be reanalyzed as a morpheme meaning ‘ten’ and *sa- could be dispensed with. That reduction had taken place in the ancestor of Amis and Puyuma, but not elsewhere in Puluqish.
- ‘ten’ *mukeCep. In both languages, inherited *puluq is attested only as the serial-counting word for ‘ten’ and multiples of ten. When counting human and non-human referents, it has given way to an innovated form *mukeCep: Amis moketep, Puyuma mukʈəp. The expression of numerals 11 to 19 is complex and will not be discussed here.
- ‘bone’ *ukak: Amis ‘okak ‘bone’, Puyuma ukak ‘bone’;
- ‘cloud’ *kuCem: Amis kotem ‘black cloud’, Puyuma kuʈəm ‘(big black) cloud’ (mi-a-kuʈəm ‘big black clouds promising rain’);
- ‘activity, skill’ *Nemak: Amis dmak ‘an activity, a happening; the things one does; to move’ (Fey); ‘activity, affair, business; to move; situation’ (Namoh); Puyuma lemak ‘know-how; skill’.
- ‘hat’ *kabuŋ: Amis kafoŋ ‘hat; anything worn on the head’ (Fey); Puyuma kabuŋ ‘hat’, mi-kabuŋ ‘wear a hat’ (Cauquelin).
Northern Puluqish clashes with Blust’s East Formosan subgroup. For a critique of East Formosan, see Sagart (2015).
Blust, R. (1999) Subgrouping, circularity and extinction: some issues in Austronesian comparative linguistics. In: Elizabeth Zeitoun and Paul Jen-kuei Li (eds.) Selected Papers from the Eighth International Conference on Austronesian linguistics, 31-94. Taipei: Institute of Linguistics (preparatory office).
Sagart, L. (2004) The higher phylogeny of Austronesian and the position of Tai-Kadai. Oceanic Linguistics 43,2: 411-444.
Sagart, L. (2008) The expansion of setaria farmers in East Asia: a linguistic and archaeological model. In Sanchez-Mazas A, Blench R, Ross M, Peiros I, Lin M, eds. Past human migrations in East Asia: matching archaeology, linguistics and genetics, 133-157. Routledge Studies in the Early History of Asia, London: Routledge.
Sagart, L. (2015) ‘East Formosan’ and the PAN palatals. Paper presented at the 13th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Taipei, July 18-22, 2015.