The 'focus' systems of western Austronesian languages have long intrigued grammarians, typologists and historical linguists, and this book significantly expands accessible information on them. It is the outcome of a workshop on focus held at the Eighth International
Conference on Austronesian Linguistics in Taipei in December 1997.
Part I contains three overview contributions: one on some of the typological issues of 'focus' languages (Nikolaus Himmelman), on possible histories of western Austronesian voice (Malcolm Ross), and on the history of voice systems and on their study (Robert Blust).
Part II, 'Languages of Sulawesi', has descriptive papers by Mark
Donohue, Phil uick and Nikolaus Himmelmann and a historical contribution by David Mead. Part III, on the rest of Indonesia and
Malaysia, has descriptive papers on Karo Batak (Clodagh Norwood), Riau
Indonesian (David Gil) and Bonggi (Sabah, Michael Boutin), a comparative account of the languages of Lombok and Sumbawa (Fay Wouk), and a descriptivehistorical account of Javanese (Gloria
Poejosoedarmo). The contributions in Part IV concern the Philippines and Taiwan. They range from Sama languages in the extreme southwest of the region (Jun Akamine and JoAnn Gault), through Hiligayonon and
Yogad in the centre and north of the Philippines (Walter Spitz), to
Seediq of northern Taiwan (Arthur Holmer). Erik Zobel examines
Chamorro and Palauan evidence diachronically and proposes a new
Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian subgroup.