Internal variation in Samoan and language diversification across the South Pacific

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 17 August 2017


Engma Room, Coombs Building, Australian National University, Canberra


Hedvig Skirgard


Hedvig Skirgard

This presentation is my Mid Term Review (MTR) for my PhD project on language diversification and variation in Samoan.

In this talk I will give an overview of variation within Samoan and how it can be related to cross-linguistic variation in the Polynesian group. I will also be discussing language diversification in the South Pacific more generally and different mechanisms underlying language diversification. Central to my project, and to the Wellsprings project, is the linking of micro variation (variation within languages/communities) and macro variation (variation cross-linguistically and between regions and families). This is a challenging enterprise, and I will discuss the possibility of establishing a micro-macro link by drawing on two examples: alienability neutralisation in possessive pronouns and the t/k-switch.

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