Disputatio:Linguae Austronesiae

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Nomen adiectivum[fontem recensere]

Iustinus has pointed out elsewhere that the regular form of Latin adjectives from Greek compounds ending in νησος 'island' is -nesius, -a, -um. Ergo recte Austronesius, -a, -um, sicut Polynesius, -a, -um. IacobusAmor 16:25, 5 Decembris 2007 (UTC)

That said, there may be a good argument in working backword from the modern linguistic terms—which would give us Austronesianus, Polynesianus, and so on. English Austronesic doesn't exist, nor perhaps should Latin Austronesica (lingua); however, that -ic does have its uses in linguistic nomenclature; compare Samoan (a single language) and Samoic (any of several languages descended from Proto-Samoan): and so we ought to be careful with it here. IacobusAmor 18:26, 5 Decembris 2007 (UTC)
Of course working backwards from English terms in -ian usually means dropping said suffix; it's frequently just something English uses to make a serviceable adjective from an ordinary Latin one, as the regular endings don't transfer well (the outcome of Polynesius, viz. Polynese, just doesn't ring right, though apparently it does exist). —Mucius Tever
Yes, this seems true, but alas for Iustinus's point (which leads us to Polynesius, -a, -um), this -(i)anus appears to be an acceptably productive modern Latin suffix: for example, English Harvard, Latin Harvardianus, -a, -um. (To make matters worse, I've seen, in the old burying ground in Cambridge, the form Harvardinus, -a, -um on seventeenth- or eighteenth-century tombstones; but the form currently preferred by the university is the -(i)anus one.) So while the individual -nesian languages remain securely -anus (as in lingua Havaiiana, Samoana, Tahitiana, etc.), one remains torn between the classical model, as advocated by Iustinus, and one that would be more obvious to modern linguists. ¶ By a curious coincidence, Samoana is a purely Polynesian word, a compound of Samoa and the Samoan demonstrative enclitic, -na. IacobusAmor 00:44, 8 Decembris 2007 (UTC)
Good point. I copied the -ica forms across from Linguae mundi, but if they don't generally seem a good idea, now's the ideal time to change. In many cases, with the names of single more-recently-known languages, there will be no Latin form, and indeed no "English form" (or at least no recognizable English suffix) at all. With these, I am wondering whether to use the best-authenticated name just as it comes, without Latinizing. Any views on that? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:49, 6 Decembris 2007 (UTC)
In latin, there is Austronesic- (as seen in Proceratium austronesicum). I'm not sure how useful it is though. Harrissimo 21:50, 6 Decembris 2007 (UTC).
That one seems to refer merely to southern islands, and not to the language family known in English as Austronesian. I trust that everybody is amused by the fact that Taiwan (and possibly the Chinese coast opposite it), the putative homeland of the Austronesian language family, is in the North Pacific Ocean—and is hence a northern island. IacobusAmor 00:44, 8 Decembris 2007 (UTC)

Y[fontem recensere]

Since we accept the Y in Polynesia, we may be acting inconsistently in not accepting it in Malaio- (fortasse recte Malayo-), even though the former is a real Greek Y and the latter isn't. So I'd recommend Malayo-Polynesia (scil. lingua). IacobusAmor 16:25, 5 Decembris 2007 (UTC)

Thanks[fontem recensere]

All further comments (and active involvement) gratefully received. I just felt I couldn't leave the language families unstarted any longer, even though I have no sources for the Latin names of languages.

Do you want to have a go at this family yourself -- or, if not, can you recommend an online source that I could use for the classification? Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:55, 5 Decembris 2007 (UTC)

Until Europeans began to get active in the colonization business, the Austronesian family was the most widespread on earth; hence, the interrelationships of its known languages are supremely complex. I'll get to it when I can, but not this week! IacobusAmor 18:21, 5 Decembris 2007 (UTC)