This volume consists of seventeen articles by scholars including Robert Blust, Paul Hopper, A. L. Becker, Sarah Bell, J. C. Catford, Talmy Givón, J. W. M. Verharr and John U. Wolff. Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Chamorro, Malay, Old Malay, Javanese, Old Javanese, Indonesian, Niases, Loniu, and Niuean are some of the languages discussed in the study. The essays explore the issues of ergativity in Western Austronesian languages, historical morphology, phonology, phonetics and morphophonemics.
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Errington explores linguistic evidence of social change among the traditional priyayi elite of Surakarta in south-central Java. Employing data from texts, interviews, observed speech, and questionnaires, he shows a progressive leveling in the language used to denote traditional status differences, and he demonstrates how perceptions of speech styles reflect etiquette and the views of the users.
How does the language of poetry conspire with the language of power? This question is at the heart of this volume which deals with Indonesia and the Philippines in the early modern and post-1945 periods. These two nations have been shaped by the forces of nationalism, revolution, and metropolitan hegemony. Whether written in Malay, Tagalog, English, or Dutch the writings coming from them carry the contradictions of their time and place in the milieu of race and class.
The oil-rich sultanate of Brunei Darussalam is located on the northern coast of Borneo between the two Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. Though the country is small in size and in population, the variety of language use there provides a veritable laboratory for linguists in the fields of Austronesian linguistics, bilingual studies, and sociolinguistic studies, particularly those dealing with language shift.