“Out of Taiwan” and the history of Austronesian rice

Alam, O., Gutaker, R., Wu, C., Hicks, K., Bocinsky, K., Castillo, C., Acabado, S., Fuller, D., Guedes, J., Hsing, Y., Purugganan, M. (2021). Genome analysis traces regional dispersal of rice in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Molecular Biology and Evolution Doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msab209 Download

This recent paper by Alam et al. makes the case from genome analysis that the traditional rices cultivated by Austronesian-speaking peoples outside of Taiwan are different from those cultivated in Taiwan: they are tropical japonica rices, similar to those from mainland southeast Asia, while the majority of Taiwanese rices are temperate japonicas, close to the rices grown in north China, Korea and Japan.  In their view, this goes against the “out of Taiwan” paradigm of Austronesian prehistory. Their idea is further detailed here.

The paper claims that the Taiwanese temperate japonicas were introduced from northeast China, and that the tropical japonicas in the Philippines were introduced from the south; and further, that temperate japonicas never left Taiwan. Given these very different histories, one would normally expect to see different words for temperate and tropical japonicas in the Austronesian languages. Instead, the Austronesian languages mostly use the same word for the japonica plant, whether temperate or tropical, in Taiwan or outside of Taiwan. Local phonetic variations are mostly predictable: this indicates that the words are inherited from the Austronesian ancestor language, as opposed to being borrowed locally from other Austronesian languages through contact. This term is reconstructed as *pajay in a widely-used resource [1]. My own reconstruction is *panjay. This word is regarded by linguists as the name of the rice plant in the ancestral Austronesian language, widely believed to have been spoken before 5000 BP in Taiwan.

The formation of the Austronesian language family through a primary differentiation in Taiwan, followed by a single migration out of Taiwan circa 4000 BP, is supported by multiple lines of evidence: shared linguistic innovations of non-Formosan languages [2]; , Bayesian phylogenies of Austronesian languages [3], archaeology [4], studies of the Austronesian human Y-chromosome [5], genetics of the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori [6], and of the paper mulberry, a domesticated plant [7]. Language, then, argues that the out-of-Taiwan migration did introduce temperate japonica rices, together with the term *panjay to the Philippines and islands further south. Absence of temperate japonicas in these modern regions can be explained in terms of competition between temperate and tropical japonicas: as the latter did not grow well in the new southern environment, they were  out-competed by tropical japonicas introduced “from the south”— probably from mainland southeast Asia.

The higher yields of tropical japonicas would feed a larger population. This can be related to a recent proposal that Bayesian phylogenetics of Philippine languages support a diversification from the south, implying a northward back-migration of Philippine speakers   [8]. This population movement was quite plausibly fueled by the possession of tropical japonicas: it was also the instrument of their northward spread. Philippine farmers, one supposes, did not think of tropical and temperate japonicas as different plants, referring to both kinds as *panjay—they would later also recognize the more strongly divergent indica rices, introduced from the Indian subcontinent, as *panjay. When temperate japonicas were abandoned, their original name continued to be used for tropical japonicas. This both accounts for the existence of a single term for the rice plant in the Austronesian languages, and reconciles the out-of-Taiwan hypothesis with the finding of a southern origin of tropical japonicas.

The date of separation between temperate japonicas from northeast Asia and from Taiwan, given as 2600 BP by the authors, is another problematic area. They attribute the introduction of temperate japonica to Taiwan to a migration from northeast Asia, which must, then, have started after 2600 BP, and reached Taiwan at an even later date. They seek support for the migration, and for their own chronology, in the observation that “Taiwanese peoples from ~1300 BCE to 800 CE carried ~25% of a northern East Asian lineage in their genomes” [9]. This, however, means that the northerners had already reached Taiwan by 3300 BP, 700 years before the proposed date of separation. The northerners and their temperate japonica rices may actually have reached Taiwan much earlier, as the last-mentioned study did not use any earlier ancient DNA data for Taiwan. The date the authors of that study suggest for the arrival of northerners in Taiwan is 5000-4500 BP: this is based on archaeological finds of domesticated foxtail millet in Taiwan during that period. Foxtail millet is generally thought to have been domesticated in north China around 8000 years ago. Under the Alam et al. paper, two distinct southward migrations are necessary for the introduction of millet and rice to Taiwan from northeastern China.

[Added Aug. 30, 2021: this post occasioned some reactions from authors of the Alam et al. paper. See my response here].

References

[1] Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, web edition. Robert Blust and Stephen Trussel. Online at www.trussel2.com/ACD.

[2] Blust, R. A. 2009. The Austronesian languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

[3] Gray, R.D., A.J. Drummond and S. Greenhill. 2009. Language Phylogenies Reveal Expansion Pulses and Pauses in Pacific Settlement. Nature, 323, 479-483.

[4] Bellwood, Peter. 1985. Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago. Sydney: Academic.

[5] Trejaut J.A., Kivisild T, Loo J.H., Lee C.L., He C.L., et al. 2005. Traces of archaic mitochondrial lineages persist in Austronesian-speaking Formosan populations. PLoS Biol 3(8).

[6] Moodley, Y, B. Linz, Y. Yamaoka, H. M. Windsor, S. Breurec, J.-Y. Wu, A. Maady, S. Bernhoft, J.-M. Thiberge, S. Phuanukoonnon, G. Jobb, P. Siba, D. Y. Graham, B. J. Marshall, M. Achtman. 2009. The Peopling of the Pacific from a Bacterial Perspective Science, 323 (5913), 527-530 DOI: 10.1126/science.1166083

[7] Olivares G, Peña-Ahumada B, Peñailillo J, Payacán C, Moncada X, Saldarriaga-Córdoba M, Matisoo-Smith E, Chung KF, Seelenfreund D, Seelenfreund A. Human mediated translocation of Pacific paper mulberry [Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L’Hér. ex Vent. (Moraceae)]: Genetic evidence of dispersal routes in Remote Oceania. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 19;14(6):e0217107. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.

[8] Benedict King, Lawrence A. Reid, Mary Walworth, Simon J. Greenhill, Russell D. Gray. 2021. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Philippine languages supports rapid initial Austronesian expansion followed by northward back-migration. Communication to 15ICAL, June 28-July 2, 2021 (online).

[9] Wang CC, Yeh HY, Popov AN, Zhang HQ, Matsumura H, Sirak K, Cheronet O, Kovalev A, Rohland N, Kim AM, Mallick S, Bernardos R, Tumen D, Zhao J, Liu YC, Liu JY, Mah M, Wang K, Zhang Z, Adamski N, Broomandkhoshbacht N, Callan K, Candilio F, Carlson KSD, Culleton BJ, Eccles L, Freilich S, Keating D, Lawson AM, Mandl K, Michel M, Oppenheimer J, Özdoğan KT, Stewardson K, Wen S, Yan S, Zalzala F, Chuang R, Huang CJ, Looh H, Shiung CC, Nikitin YG, Tabarev AV, Tishkin AA, Lin S, Sun ZY, Wu XM, Yang TL, Hu X, Chen L, Du H, Bayarsaikhan J, Mijiddorj E, Erdenebaatar D, Iderkhangai TO, Myagmar E, Kanzawa-Kiriyama H, Nishino M, Shinoda KI, Shubina OA, Guo J, Cai W, Deng Q, Kang L, Li D, Li D, Lin R, Nini, Shrestha R, Wang LX, Wei L, Xie G, Yao H, Zhang M, He G, Yang X, Hu R, Robbeets M, Schiffels S, Kennett DJ, Jin L, Li H, Krause J, Pinhasi R, Reich D. Genomic insights into the formation of human populations in East Asia. Nature. 2021 Mar;591(7850):413-419. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03336-2.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "“Out of Taiwan” and the history of Austronesian rice," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 26/08/2021, https://stan.hypotheses.org/1423.

West-coast Walu-Siwaish (master post)

(view clickable tree) (to list of innovations, sorted by node)

(jump up one level to Walu-Siwaish)

The West-coast Walu-Siwaish languages are Papora and Hoanya, two extinct languages, each of them significantly diverse. Their last speakers were interviewed mainly by Japanese linguists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We possess short vocabularies for a number of locations in rough phonetic transcriptions. Tsuchida (1982) includes a collection of these forms,  now in part accessible online through the Hoanya and Papora pages of the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database (ABVD; here and here) of Greenhill et al. (2003-).

Despite the difficulties inherent in establishing cognacy given the nature of the data, the Hoanya and Papora words for ‘fire’ and ‘black’, present us with two uniquely shared western Walu-Siwaish innovations. 

A correspondence between Hoanya and Papora voiced coronals  recurs over these comparisons, which include ‘fire’ and ‘black’:

  Hoanya #1-1a Hoanya #1-8 Papora #1-3 Papora #2 
  dz z d d
fire
dzapu zapū dapu dapū
rain mudzas _
modad _
road, path dzalan _ dalan  
black mavidzu mavizū abidu avedoo

‘Fire’. Blust’s Austronesian Comparative Dictionary (ACD; here) assigns the Hoanya and Papora words for ‘fire’ to PANBlust *Sapuy ‘fire’. In their Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database (ABVD), Greenhill et al. (2003-),  do the same, listing the forms  under cognate set #1 (here).   However this will not do, since Blust’s PAN *S goes to s- in Hoanya (*Sikan ‘fish’ > sikan, *Suaji ‘younger sibling’ > suazi, *Sepat ‘4’ > supat) and in Papora as well (*Siwa ‘nine’ > siya, *daqiS ‘forehead’ > ddes). Conversely none of the other Hoanya-Papora words with the same correspondence as ‘fire’ (see the above table) goes back to PAN *S. Either there has been an irregular sound change turning PAN *S into some voiced coronal in the Papora-Hoanya word for ‘fire’, or, more plausibly,  the Hoanya and Papora forms for ‘fire’ are cognates of another word: PMPBlust *dapuR ‘hearth’, even though this last form has not hitherto been observed in Formosan languages. Tsuchida (1969) reconstructs *Z in ‘rain’ (*qu2ZaN), one of the words which exemplify the Papora-Hoanya correspondence (above table). Allowing for the uncertainty due to the lack of  cognates in other Formosan languages, I will write PWS *[Z]apuR. Taking a hint from Wolff (2010) I gloss the form as  ‘cooking fire’. The best solution is to assume that *[Z]apuR displaced Blust’s *Sapuy as ‘fire’ exclusively in western Walu-Siwaish.  For the final consonant, Papora-Hoanya examples of PAN final *-R are few, but *-R falls in Hoanya #1-1b matulu ‘to sleep’ < *ma-tuduR  (this etymon is not found elsewhere in Papora or Hoanya).

‘Black’. The PAN word reconstructed by Blust as *qudem ‘black’ has a broad distribution in Taiwan; but it was displaced, exclusively in Hoanya and Papora, by a word reconstructible as *abi[Z]u. There is an apparent cognate in Mongondow: mo-bidu ‘blue’, so that *abi[Z]u can be assigned to PWS. However there was competition between *abi[Z]u and *qudem in PWS: it is only in western Walu-Siwaish that the former diplaced the latter. In Mongondow mo-bidu has a doublet mo-biru ‘blue’. This mo-biru belongs to a widespread set which Blust (here) treats as borrowed from Malay. Although he admits that in Mongondow “it would normally be assumed that where variants in d, r appear the d variant is historically primary”, he assumes “for the present”  that “Mongondow mo-bidu is a result of analogical back-formation from a loanword with r“. However,  the Hoanya-Papora cognate convincingly shows that d, not r, is primary: indeed, Mongondow d is a match for Papora d, Hoanya dz, as in ‘road, path’ : Papora dalan, Hoanya dzalan, Mongondow daḷan. Only the biru-type forms are part of the loan distribution identified by Blust.

references

Blust, Robert A. and Stephen Trussel. Ongoing. Austronesian Comparative Dictionary (ACD). Online at http://www.trussel2.com/acd/

Greenhill, Simon, Robert Blust, and Russell Gray. 2003-. Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database (ABVD). Online at  https://abvd.shh.mpg.de/austronesian/.

Tsuchida, S. (1982) A Comparative Vocabulary of Austronesian Languages of Sinicized Ethnic Groups in Taiwan, Part I: Western Taiwan. Memoirs of the Faculty of Letters, No. 7, University of Tokyo. Tokyo, Japan.

Wolff, John U. 2010. Proto-Austronesian phonology with glossary. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "West-coast Walu-Siwaish (master post)," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 18/11/2020, https://stan.hypotheses.org/1065.

 

 

*nanum, an Eastern Walu-Siwaish word for ‘water’.

up one level to Eastern-Walu-Siwaish

The PAN word for water was *daNum (Blust, ACD), *D2aNum (Tsuchida 1976), *daɫum (Wolff 2010).  Barring special circumstances, this word should remain unchanged into Eastern Walu-Siwaish (EWS). Among EWS languages,

  • Basay (one dialect) lanom ‘water’,
  • Trobiawan zanum ‘water’,
  • Kavalan zanum (in qi-zanum ‘to drink’),
  • Amis radom ‘carry water from the water source’,
  • Paiwan zaɫum ‘water’, PMP *danum ‘water’

show the expected outcomes.

Equally widespread in EWS languages are forms reflecting PEWS *nanum:

  • Basay  nanom ‘water’,
  • Kavalan nanum, m-nanum ‘to drink’,
  • Sakizaya nanum ‘water’, mi-nanum ‘to drink’,
  • Amis nanom ‘water’, mi-nanom ‘to drink water’,
  • Puyuma nanum ‘water’ (male, religious).

Papora mananu ‘to drink’ (Tsuchida 1982) may belong here too—this would raise *nanum ‘water’ to Proto-Walu-Siwaish— but loss of final *-m is problematic.

In Kra-Dai, PAN medial *-N- evolves to *l, while *-n- evolves to *n. Compare *aNak ‘child’, Proto-Kra *lak, Proto-Tai *lɯ:k, Proto-Kam-Sui (Ferlus) *la:k 8; *buNum ‘air, weather, sky’, proto-Tai *C̬.lɯm A ‘wind’, Proto-Kam-Sui (Thurgood) *hlwɯm 1, (Ferlus) *(C)l/rəm A. Consequently, all the Kra-Dai words for ‘water’:

  • Proto-Hlai (Ostapirat) *nam C,
  • Proto-Tai *C̬.nam C  (Pittayaporn; ‘C̬’ is a voiced consonant),
  • Proto-Kam-Sui (Ferlus) *n-,
  • Proto-Lakkja *num C (Theraphan)

are cognates of *nanum, not *daNum.

There are no obvious reflexes of *nanum ‘water’ in MP, however it appears that PMP word *um-inum ‘to drink’ was reanalyzed from *mi-nanum ‘get water, drink water’ (here).

Reference

Tsuchida, S. (1982) A Comparative Vocabulary of Austronesian Languages of Sinicized Ethnic Groups in Taiwan, Part I: Western Taiwan. Memoirs of the Faculty of Letters, No. 7, University of Tokyo. Tokyo, Japan.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "*nanum, an Eastern Walu-Siwaish word for ‘water’.," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 23/04/2020, https://stan.hypotheses.org/820.

PAN *u- common noun marker

(to clickable tree)

This marker is reflected in three kinds of contexts:

  • In northern Amis, before common nouns, inflected for case as k-u (nominative) t-u (oblique), n-u (genitive) without any number distinction (Bril, in press);
  • prefixed to numerals of the non-human series in the southern Tsouic languages: Kanakanabu, Saaroa; and in Kavalan. Modern Rukai dialects do not show it but Ino’s recording of Karei Rukai  (Ino 1898:25-33) gives an almost complete series: isa, urisiri, utool, usipat, urima, ulumu, upitoo, uvaŋat, (puruk ’10’ is a loan from Paiwan). The missing u-prefixed word for ‘1’ in Rukai is u-tsani in Karei, discussed here. Vestiges of u-prefixation also exist in Tsou numerals: usupat ‘four’ in one variety of Tsou, here.
  • sporadically reinterpreted as an onset consonant w- or v-  with PAN nouns beginning in vowels, as noticed by Bril (p.c, April 20, 2020) for Natauran:

*asu, ‘dog’, *u-asu id. > Natauran Amis wacu, Pazeh wazu, Kavalan wasu, Paiwan vatu;

*aNak, ‘child’, *u-aNak id. > Proto-Rukai vanakə (Li 1977);

*amaH2 ‘father’, *u-amaH2 > Natauran Amis  wama.

In Fey’s dictionary of Amis one finds pairs like idaŋ/widaŋ ‘friend’, ina/wina ‘mother’.

In order to explain sporadic cases of initial w- or similar in  words for ‘dog’, ‘fire’, ‘child’, Dyen (1962) reconstructed a new Austronesian phoneme *W; the random appearance of a common noun prefix is a better interpretation.

Under my model of AN phylogeny, *u- ‘common noun marker’ reconstructs to PAN, being present in the Pazeh word for ‘dog’; Pazeh is regarded as a primary branch of PAN. Usage of *u- as a marker of numerals for non-human reference begins later, in Walu-Siwaish. It is  absent from western Walu-Siwaish (Hoanya, Papora), and potentially constitutes a shared innovation supporting a Central-Eastern Walu-Siwaish node.

References

Bril, I. in press. Northern Amis. Handbook on Formosan languages, ed. by P. Jen-kuei Li, E. Zeitoun, R. De Busser.  Leiden: Brill

Dyen, I. (1962) Some New Proto-Malayopolynesian Initial Phonemes. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 82, No. 2 (Apr. – Jun., 1962), pp. 214-215

Fey, V. (1986) Amis dictionary. The Bible Society in the Republic of China.

Ino, Yoshinori 伊能嘉矩. 1998. 巡臺日程 Xún Tái Rì Chéng [A Formosan itinerary]. In 伊能嘉矩番語調查手冊 Ino Yoshinori fānyǔ diàochá shǒucè [Ino Yoshinori’s field records], ed. by : T. Moriguchi, pp. 13-201. Taipei: Southern Materials Center.

Li, Paul Jen-Kuei. 1977. The internal relationships of Rukai. Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology 48:1-92.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "PAN *u- common noun marker," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 20/04/2020, https://stan.hypotheses.org/777.

Tsouic (master post)

(view clickable tree) (to list of innovations, sorted by node)

(up one level to Rukai-Tsouic)

Tsouic is a group of three Austronesian languages spoken in south-central Taiwan: Tsou, Kanakanabu and Saaroa; plus Rukai. Within Tsouic, Kanakanabu and Saaroa form a southern branch, coordinate with Tsou.

Shared innnovations of Tsouic in sound change and morphosyntax were detailed in Sagart (2014 ) (here, sections 5.2 and 5.2, pp. 19-20).

At least 57 Tsouic-only lexical items reconstructed to Proto-Tsouic by Tsuchida (1976) are probably innovations (see the list here, section 5.3, pp. 20-21).

In addition, Proto-Tsouic *ramuCu ‘hand’, from PRT *ramuCu ‘finger’, displaced PAN *qa-lima ‘hand’. This word belongs to the most basic vocabulary: the likelihood that it was borrowed from another language, or that it is a retention from PAN is practically nonexistent.

The unusually large number of innovative Tsouic words implies a very long period of almost complete isolation in the southern part of the Formosan ridge —perhaps three thousand years—between the separation with Rukai and the breakup of proto-Tsouic.

Tsouic languages also share the metathesis of *pataS ‘tattoo, write’ to Proto-Tsouic *tapaSə (Kanakanavu tapásə, Saaroa taa-tapa-a, Tsou ta-tpos-a ‘pattern, design’).

references

Sagart, Laurent (2014) In Defense of the Numeral-based Model of Austronesian Phylogeny, and of Tsouic. Language and Linguistics 15(6) 859–882.

Tsuchida, S. (1976) Reconstruction of Proto-Tsouic phonology. Tokyo: Study of languages and cultures of Asia and Africa monograph series N° 5.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "Tsouic (master post)," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 18/04/2020, https://stan.hypotheses.org/756.

My one and only

In the Formosan data recorded by Ino (1998:25), Taokas and Papora, two west-coast Formosan languages, have for ‘one’ the following forms: Sinkon (Taokas) tanu, Hajyovan and Vudol (both Papora) tanu. The form occurs reduplicated in Tanatanahu and Hameyan (both Taokas): tata:anu, and as ta’a:nu in Varaval (Taokas). The base form reconstructs as *tanu (not *Canu, since Sinkon Taokas reflects *C as s: masa ‘eye’, sareina ‘ear’, samani ‘to cry’; and the same is true of Papora: masa, sarina, samani: ). This is etymon #30 in the ABVD. The PAN word for ‘one’ is generally acknowledged to be *isa.

To this let us compare Natauran Amis tanu ‘only, just’ (Bril, p.c., 31 March 2020). I hypothesize that the original meaning of *tanu was ‘only’, as in Amis, which in Papora and Taokas shifted to ‘only one’ and ultimately to ‘one’.

References

Ino, Yoshinori 伊能嘉矩. 1998. 巡臺日程 Xún Tái Rì Chéng [A Formosan itinerary]. In 伊能嘉矩番語調查手冊 Ino Yoshinori fānyǔ diàochá shǒucè [Ino Yoshinori’s field records], ed. by : T. Moriguchi, pp. 13-201. Taipei: Southern Materials Center.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "My one and only," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 04/04/2020, https://stan.hypotheses.org/613.

Northern Puluqish (master post)

(view clickable tree) (to list of innovations, sorted by node)

(Jump up one level to Puluqish master post)

(Jump down one level to Southern Austronesian master post)

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.

  1. ‘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);
  2. ‘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.
  3. ‘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.
  4. ‘bone’ *ukak:  Amis ‘okak ‘bone’, Puyuma ukak ‘bone’;
  5. cloud’ *kuCem ‘cloud’: Amis kotem ‘black cloud’, Puyuma kuʈəm ‘(big black) cloud’ (mi-a-kuʈəm ‘big black clouds promising rain’);
  6. ‘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’.
  7. 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).

References

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.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "Northern Puluqish (master post)," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 20/03/2020, https://stan.hypotheses.org/582.

Michel Ferlus et l’interface austronésien/kra-dai

Michel Ferlus avait fait à la conférence austronésienne 11-ICAL d’Aussois en 2009 une présentation où il résumait une nouvelle théorie des relations entre austronésien, kra-dai (il utilise le terme de Benedict: tai-kadai) et malayo-polynésien. Elle peut être consulté ici, en versions française et anglaise. Elle répondait à un de mes articles (2004) où je proposais que le kra-dai est une branche de l’austronésien, notamment sur la base d’innovations partagées dans les système des numéraux.

Ferlus déplore aujourd’hui le peu d’attention accordé à son texte, allant jusqu’à parler de “refus du débat scientifique”. Je vais donc donner ci-dessous une liste de problèmes contenus dans sa présentation qui sont, me semble-t-il, la cause du manque d’intérêt de ses collègues. Précisons que personne n’a abandonné l’idée du “out of Taiwan” suite à la présentation de Ferlus: j’ai moi-même employé ce terme dans un article paru l’an dernier dans la revue Rice (ici).

Tout d’abord, résumons rapidement l’idée de Ferlus.

Ferlus pense que l’austronésien, originellement parlé dans le bas-yangtzé, s’est d’abord répandu vers le sud le long de la côte chinoise. De là, des groupes austronésiens auraient peuplé Taiwan les uns après les autres (ainsi, il n’y a pas de proto-formosan dans la théorie de Ferlus). Les austronésiens restant sur le continent auraient ensuite continué vers le sud jusqu’au Guangdong, où ils seraient devenus malayo-polynésiens. Là, ils auraient été recouverts par la famille kra-dai, laquelle aurait emprunté beaucoup de vocabulaire de base au malayo-polynésien, donnant l’impression d’une parenté génétique entre le kra-dai et l’austronésien. Par la suite, les malayo-polynésiens seraient passés du Guangdong aux Philippines, d’où ils auraient peuplé tout le Pacifique. Ils n’auraient pas laissé de traces sur le continent. Parallèlement à leur expansion vers le sud, ils auraient, au nord, influencé les langues de Taiwan, leur transmettant les nombres de 4 à 10, mais apparemment rien d’autre sur le plan linguistique. La transmission des nombres malayo-polynésiens aux langues de Taiwan se serait faite de façon graduée, les langues du sud recevant plus de nombres MP que celles du nord. Outre les nombres, des éléments culturels auraient été transmis par les malayo-polynésiens des Philippines aux formosans du sud, en particulier un certain type de poterie (“red-slipped pottery”, terme que Ferlus traduit par “lissé-rouge”), et le riz indica.

Voyons les problèmes inhérents à cette théorie.

1. Une famille kra-dai distincte ?

Laissant de côté les emprunts au chinois, le vocabulaire de base kra-dai contient une couche principale austronésienne et une couche secondaire, plus petite, austroasiatique. Si le kra-dai était une famille distincte, il devrait exister une couche lexicale indigène très fondamentale qui ne serait ni AN, ni AA, ni chinoise. Ferlus ne fait aucun effort pour caractériser une telle couche. Notons qu’elle ne comprendrait ni les pronoms personnels, ni les nombres, et bien peu de noms de parties du corps. En l’absence de caractérisation lexicale, l’idée d’une famille kra-dai distincte n’est pas recevable.

2. Les kra-dai auraient acquis l’agriculture des austroasiatiques.

Selon Ferlus, les premiers TK auraient été des végéculteurs (du taro, en particulier), et le vocabulaire kra-dai de la riziculture serait entièrement d’origine austroasiatique. Pourtant :

  • “riz décortiqué”, Proto-Tai *sa:l A, proto-Kra *sal A. Ce mot est d’origine austronésienne: PAn *qaSaN “grain non décortiqué”;
  • “riz cuit”, Proto-Kra *m-laɯ C. Ce mot est d’origine austronésienne: PAn *beRas “grain décortiqué”
  • “rizière inondée”, Proto-Kra *na A, proto-Hlai *ana B, également d’origine austronésienne : PAn *bena “champ de plaine”.

Il n’y a pas lieu de supposer que les kra-dai aient jamais eu un mode de vie non-agricole.

3. L’interaction malayo-polynésien/kra-dai au Guangdong : un scénario peu clair.

Selon Ferlus (p. 5) vers le 2e siècle avant notre ère, le malayo-polynésien du Guangdong “aurait été recouvert par une poussée du TK originel venant de l’intérieur.” Il ajoute : “Ce scénario explique pourquoi le vocabulaire commun au TK et à l’AN appartient au lexique fondamental.” Or, le gaulois a été recouvert par le latin, sans que le latin tradif parlé en Gaule reçoive du vocabulaire fondamental gaulois. Les explications sont insuffisantes.

4. La date du départ des malayo-polynésiens du Guangdong vers les Philippines.

Ferlus place ce mouvement vers 3000 avant notre ère. Or il n’y a pas trace d’un mode de vie néolithique aux Philippines jusqu’à 2000 avant notre ère.

5. “La parenté du vocabulaire partagé entre le TK et l’AN est à placer au niveau du PMP”

C’est une erreur. Les mots austronésiens en kra-dai n’ont subi aucune des innovations phonologiques du malayo-polynésien: *C et *t sont toujours distincts, *N et *n également, *S est toujours une sifflante, les métathèses de -h final n’ont pas eu lieu. En particulier, le mot “oeil” cité par Ferlus, PAN *maCa, devenant *mata en PMP, est *m-ʈa A en Proto-Kra (Ostapirat 2000, sur la foi du Gelao de Qiaoshang), et non *m-ta A qui serait la forme correspondant au PMP *mata.

Sur le plan lexical, les innovations malayo-polynésiennes dans le domaine des nombres sont présentes en kra-dai, mais on trouve aussi en kra-dai des mots non-malayo-polynésiens, par exemple PAN *puja ‘nombril’, remplacé par *pusej en PMP, et pourtant reflété par Proto-Kra *m-ɖaɯ A, Proto-Tai *ɗwɯ A, Proto-Hlai *urɨ A. La seule explication est que le kra-dai est issu d’une langue du sud de Taiwan ayant les innovations dans les nombres, mais pas toutes les innovations lexicales, et aucune des innovations phonologiques du malayo-polynésien.

6. Transmission des nombres malayo-polynésiens aux langues de Taiwan : vraiment, seulement les nombres ?

Les nombres de 5 à 10 appartiennent au lexique modérément fondamental. Ils sont plus facilement empruntables que les pronoms, parties du corps, noms des éléments de base de la nature ; que les verbes aller/venir, mourir, manger, dormir ; mais sont plus difficilement empruntables que le vocabulaire culturel (techniques, commerce, calendrier etc.). Il n’est pas concevable que des nombres soient transmis par contact sans que du vocabulaire culturel le soit aussi. Si des nombres malayo-polynésiens ont été transmis aux langues du sud de Taiwan, on devrait aussi y trouver toute une couche de mots culturels malayo-polynésiens. L’existence d’une telle couche ne devrait pas être trop difficile à établir, étant donné les innovations phonologiques très visibles du malayo-polynésien. Mais personne ne l’a jamais vue. Les emprunts malayo-polynésiens dans les langues de Taiwan… sont très peu nombreux, et généralement plutôt récents (tabac, écriture etc).

7. Transmission des nombres malayo-polynésiens aux langues de Taiwan : le pattern d’implications est ignoré.

J’ai montré dans mon article de 2004 que les nombres malayo-polynésiens apparaissent dans les langues de Taiwan selon un pattern constant: la présence de *puluq ’10’ implique celle de *Siwa ‘9’ et *walu ‘8’, qui impliquent *enem ‘6’, qui implique *lima ‘5’, qui implique pitu ‘7’; mais l’inverse n’est pas vrai. Dans la géographie, plus on descend vers le sud, plus le paradigme malayo-polynésien est complet. De ce pattern, Ferlus ne retient que la ressemblance croissante (en termes du nombre de formes communes) avec le malayo-polynésien du nord au sud de Taiwan. Le pattern d’implications est ignoré.

8. Transmission des nombres malayo-polynésiens aux langues de Taiwan : les nombres bas vont plus loin que les hauts.

On sait depuis Greenberg que les nombres sont d’autant plus faciles à emprunter qu’ils sont élevés : ainsi ’10’ s’emprunte plus facilement que ‘9’, qui s’emprunte plus facilement que ‘8’, qui s’emprunte plus facilement que ‘7’, etc. Dans le modèle de Ferlus, les nombres malayo-polynésiens qui sont empruntés par le plus grand nombre de langues (et donc remontent le plus au nord) sont ‘5’, ‘6’ et ‘7’. Ceux qui restent confinés au sud de Taiwan, et donc qui sont empruntés par le plus petit nombre de langues, sont ‘8’, ‘9’ et ’10’. C’est l’inverse du pattern habituel.

9. Transmission d’éléments culturels malayo-polynésiens au sud de Taiwan : le cas de la poterie lissé-rouge.

La poterie lissé-rouge est plus ancienne à Taiwan qu’aux Philippines : elle est dominante vers -2100 avant notre ère dans le sud-est de Taiwan, mais ne commence à apparaître qu’après -2000 aux Philippines (Hung 2008: 23, 107). En général, les artefacts austronésiens communs à Taiwan et aux Philippines sont plus anciens à Taiwan (ibid.). Leur transfert a évidemment eu lieu du nord vers le sud.

10. Transmission d’éléments culturels malayo-polynésiens au sud de Taiwan : le cas du riz indica.

Ferlus propose (p.6) que le riz indica a été introduit à Taiwan depuis les Philippines par les malayo-polynésiens qui l’auraient, suppose-t-on, amené avec eux, depuis le Guangdong, en 3000 avant notre ère. C’est impossible. Le riz indica apparaît en Inde du nord par hybridation vers 2000 avant notre ère, et ne devient une composante stable de l’agriculture dans cette région que dans la période 1600-1000 avant notre ère (Silva et al 2018). Par la suite, il se répand dans l’Asie du sud-est, continentale et insulaire, à la faveur de l’expansion indienne du premier millénaire de notre ère. Depuis l’état hindouisé de Srivijaya à Sumatra, par le commerce maritime, il remonte vers le nord jusqu’à Taiwan. Les malayo-polynésiens des Philippines jusqu’à Madagascar cultivent traditionnellement du riz “japonica tropical”, aussi appelé “javanica”. Ce riz a des précurseurs biologiques dans les riz japonica des aborigènes de Taiwan (travail en préparation).

11. Pourquoi le malayo-polynésien n’est-il pas représenté à Taiwan?

Ferlus demande pourquoi le malayo-polynésien “qui serait né sur l’île de Taiwan n’y est plus représenté aujourd’hui”. C’est parce que les innovations caractéristiques du malayo-polynésien se sont produites aux Philippines, après la migration. La langue du sud de Taiwan dont le malayo-polynésien s’est séparé il y a 4000 ans a évolué vers… le paiwan moderne. Le paiwan est la langue de Taiwan la plus proche du malayo-polynésien. Ils ont les mêmes nombres et des innovations lexicales communes : les mots *alap ‘prendre’ et *Cazem ‘tranchant’.

Retournons la question à Ferlus : pourquoi le malayo-polynésien qui serait né au Guangdong n’y est-il plus représenté aujourd’hui ?

Conclusion.

Bien que le chemin suivi par les Austronésiens depuis le continent ne soit pas le même chez Ferlus que dans la théorie standard, l’arbre phylogénétique impliqué par son modèle n’est pas différent du mien : les branches formosanes se séparent les unes après les autres du tronc commun, puis c’est au tour du malayo-polynésien. Un tel arbre a le potentiel d’exprimer l’idée que (à la différence du modèle de Blust) les langues formosanes ont des degrés de proximité différents avec le malayo-polynésien. Il contient potentiellement les noeuds auxquels accrocher les innovations successives *pitu 7, *lima 5, *enem 6, *walu 8, *Siwa 9, *puluq 10, expliquant ainsi simplement la hiérarchie d’implications entre ces nombres dans les langues de Taiwan. Dès lors, pourquoi rejeter mon modèle au profit d’un autre qui n’explique pas la hiérarchie d’implications ?

références

Hung, Hsiao-chun (2008) Migration and Cultural Interaction in Southern Coastal China, Taiwan and the Northern Philippines, 3000BC to AD 100: The Early History of the Austronesian speaking Populations. Canberra: Unpublished PhD dissertation, Australian National University.

Sagart, L. (2004) The higher phylogeny of Austronesian and the position of Tai-Kadai. Oceanic Linguistics 43,2: 411-444.

Cite this post as: Laurent Sagart, "Michel Ferlus et l’interface austronésien/kra-dai," in Sino-Tibetan-Austronesian, 20/06/2019, https://stan.hypotheses.org/302.