Whence the Austronesian indirect possession construction?

Mark Donohue*, Antoinette Schapper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Possession in some Austronesian languages shows levels of elaboration far in excess of cross-linguistic norms, while in others it is strikingly unelaborated. The appearance of alienable/inalienable contrasts has been assumed to result from contact with Papuan languages, and the existence of a paradigm of indirect possessive classifiers is cited as one of the pieces of evidence for the Oceanic subgroup, while acknowledging that indirect possession constructions can be found in Malayo-Polynesian languages further west. We argue that the appearance of possessive classifiers in these languages is also the result of contact with Papuan languages west of New Guinea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-327
Number of pages12
JournalOceanic Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Whence the Austronesian indirect possession construction?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this