Carlo Dalle Ceste
PhD Research Topic
Reconstructing Morphology: The case of Proto Western Oceanic
My PhD research focuses on the history of pronominal morphology (free pronouns and subject-indexing markers) in Western Oceanic languages, making use of the long-established methodology of historical (comparative) linguistics.
Western Oceanic may constitute a primary division of the Oceanic subgroup of the Austronesian family (Ross 1988). All the same, its numerous languages (approx. 200, some of them scarcely spoken or on the brink of extinction) reflect a complex (pre)history, which often hints at dynamics of dialect differentiation.
In my research, I will be poring over the different kinds of morphological change in order to answer questions as to why these languages look so different from each other, even in ‘closed’ word-class morphology. The data used comes from a variety of sources (published and unpublished). Among them are field notes, word lists, dictionaries, and, when available, grammatical descriptions.