Edited by Kunio Nishiyama, Hideki Kishimoto and Edith Aldridge
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 250] 2018
► pp. 207–226
This paper analyzes the synchrony and diachrony of possessive noun phrases in Lamaholot (Austronesian). On the assumption that the clause architecture and the nominal architecture are parallel, the loss of verb movement at the clausal level (Aldridge 2010) is argued to be equivalent to the loss of movement of NP at the nominal level. This captures the possessor – possessed order in languages in eastern Indonesia (including Lamaholot), as opposed to the possessed – possessor order in western Indonesia. Lamaholot also has the possessed – possessor order, and this involves focus movement of NP. The complementary distribution of a genitive pronoun and a nominal suffix is accounted for by contextual allomorphy. As driving force of word order change, an internal factor (within Austronesian) and an external factor (contact with Papuan languages) are suggested.