The Lamaholot Language of Eastern Indonesia
Doctor of Philosophy
This study presents the grammar of the Lewotobi dialect of Lamaholot, an Austronesian language spoken in the eastern part of Flores Island and neighboring islands of Indonesia. Lamaholot belongs to the Central Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of Austronesian, within which it is in a subgroup with the languages of Timor and Roti. The number of speakers of the Lewotobi dialect is approximately 6,000. Despite its importance in the history and typology of Austronesian languages, this dialect of Lamaholot has not been fully described yet. This study is the first thorough grammar of this dialect. In the absence of available description of the language, the data presented here have been collected through fieldwork conducted at the Nurri village of Kabupaten Flores Timur for a total of eight months. The purpose of this sturdy is two-fold. The first goal is to provide an empirically-based description and analysis of the entire range of the Lamaholot grammar from phonology through morphology to syntax and semantics. It begins with the discussion of phonetics and phonology, proceeds to examine morphological processes and parts of speech and then turns to the form and function of each part of speech: nouns, pronouns, numerals, measure words, verbs, adjectival nouns, adjectival verbs, demonstratives, directionals, the locative, TAM markers and other minor parts of speech. Building upon these foundations, subsequent chapters offer a detailed analysis and discussion of the following syntactic phenomena: (i) agreement, (ii) clause structure, (iii) voice and grammatical relations, (iv) verb serialization, and (v) spatial language. A mini dictionary and texts are provided as appendices to a grammatical description. The second and equally important purpose of this study is to shed new light on issues surrounding the history and typology of Austronesian languages from a perspective of Lamaholot data. Attention is drawn particularly to two grammatical phenomena: (i) the position of Lamaholot in a typology of voice and grammatical relations in western Austronesian languages and (ii) spatial language and frames of reference. It is hoped that this study will help advance both research in Austronesian linguistics and our knowledge of human language in general.