LINGUIST List 13.1465

Thu May 23 2002

Diss: Phonetics: Remijsen "Word-prosodic..."

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  1. bert, Phonetics: Remijsen "Word-prosodic systems of Raja Ampat..."

Message 1: Phonetics: Remijsen "Word-prosodic systems of Raja Ampat..."

Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 12:34:34 +0000
From: bert <>
Subject: Phonetics: Remijsen "Word-prosodic systems of Raja Ampat..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: Leiden University
Program: Leiden Centre for Linguistics (ULCL)
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2001

Author: Bert Remijsen 

Dissertation Title: 
Word-prosodic systems of Raja Ampat languages

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Phonetics, Language Description

Dissertation Director 1: Vincent van Heuven
Dissertation Director 2: Wim Stokhof

Dissertation Abstract: 

In 'Word-Prosodic Systems of Raja Ampat Languages', Bert Remijsen
presents a collection of studies on word prosodic features of Matbat
and Ma'ya, two Austronesian languages of the Raja Ampat archipelago,
off the west coast of New Guinea. Interesting phenomena include the
discovery a five-toneme lexical contrast in Matbat, and the diachronic
development of tonal realization in Ma'ya, on the basis of acoustic
data from three dialects. 

The most important finding, however, is that Ma'ya features both
lexical tone and lexical stress, as independent features in its word
prosodic system. This makes it the first language for which this
combination of word prosodic features is supported with phonetic
evidence. The other chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of
the word prosodic systems of Matbat and Ma'ya, shed light on the
question how this unusually complex word prosodic system came into

Hardly any research has previously been carried out on the languages
of the Raja Ampat archipelago. As a consequence, the chapter on the
language situation of these islands constitutes a timely overview of a
number of languages that are located on the border between the
Austronesian language family and the Papuan languages. The appendices
present more background information on the languages and on the
population of the Raja Ampat archipelago.

Presenting exciting new data, this book will appeal to phoneticians
and phonologists who are interested in word prosodic features. The
book is also of interest to students of Austronesian linguistics,
because it surveys a number of little known Austronesian languages,
and deals with the issue of their position within the Austronesian
language family.

A brief discussion of the word prosodic features of Ma'ya and Matbat,
including sound examples, can be found at This is the site of the
research project on 'Prosody of Indonesian Languages', in the
framework of which this Ph.D. research was carried out.

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