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LINGUIST List 23.2414

Mon May 21 2012

Qs: Reflexes of *kore 'lack, not-exist' in Polynesian

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Date: 18-May-2012
From: Ljuba Veselinova <ljubaling.su.se>
Subject: Reflexes of *kore 'lack, not-exist' in Polynesian
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This question is intended mainly for people familiar with the history of
Polynesian languages. Specifically, I would like to find any work that deals
with cognates of the Proto-Polynesian form *kore and their development in
the modern languages.

Clark (1976: 85, 98, in passim) reconstructs *kore for Proto-Polynesian with
the sense ‘lack’, ‘not-exist’. Cognates of *kore are observed today in all
Eastern Polynesian languages. In most of them they express Standard
Negation and are also used as a special negative existential. However, there
are also languages where there are more several reflexes of *kore. For
instance, in Māori, there is kāore , ‘Standard Negator and negative existential
but there is also kore, a postnominal modifier meaning ‘without, -less’. A
similar situation is observed in Ùa Pou (Northern Marquesan)

I am sure these facts must have been noticed in Polynesian linguists. So far I
have only located a short comment in Clark (1976). I am aware of a few other
references (Celoria 2001, Krupa 1982, Lal and Fortune 2000) that may offer
relevant information but they haven’t arrived yet through interlibrary loan. I’m
on the lookout for more work on the rise of *kore and the development of its
cognates. Any pointers will be greatly appreciated. I will post a summary if
there I interest.

My best wishes,

Celoria, Rafaella. 2001. The history and development of the Māori language.
Fribourg: s.n.
Clark, Ross. 1976. Aspects of Proto-Polynesian Syntax. Auckland: Linguistic
Society of New Zealand.
Krupa, Viktor. 1982. The Polynesian Languages: A Guide. London: Routledge
& Kegan Paul.
Lal, Brij V., and Fortune, Kate eds. 2000. The Pacific Islands: An
Encyclopedia. Honolulu: The University of Hawaii Press.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

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