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Language history and culture groups among Austroasiatic-speaking foragers of the Malay Peninsula

Burenhult, Niclas LU ; Kruspe, Nicole LU and Dunn, Michael (2011) In Dynamics of human diversity: the case of Mainland Southeast Asia p.257-275
Abstract
The Malay Peninsula is a crossroads for people, languages and cultural influences, apparent in today's vibrant mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and European. Yet this modern state of affairs all but conceals signals of much older situations of diversity. Thus, some 140,000 people grouped together under the label Orang Asli (Malay for 'aboriginal people') represent a range of cultural and biological adaptations and linguistic diversifications with roots far back in prehistory. These 20-plus ethnolinguistic groups represent a unique and vanishing window on the history of human diversity in the region, and they offer intriguing examples relevant to more general issues of the dynamics of human societies.

By synthesising the current... (More)
The Malay Peninsula is a crossroads for people, languages and cultural influences, apparent in today's vibrant mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and European. Yet this modern state of affairs all but conceals signals of much older situations of diversity. Thus, some 140,000 people grouped together under the label Orang Asli (Malay for 'aboriginal people') represent a range of cultural and biological adaptations and linguistic diversifications with roots far back in prehistory. These 20-plus ethnolinguistic groups represent a unique and vanishing window on the history of human diversity in the region, and they offer intriguing examples relevant to more general issues of the dynamics of human societies.

By synthesising the current ethnographic, linguistic and genetic body of knowledge about these groups with our own quantitative analyses of new lexical data from 27 language varieties, we explore the local historical relationships and interaction between languages and cultures. Specifically, we look at the relationship between a particular subsistence mode, namely nomadic foraging, and the Aslian branch of the Austroasiatic language stock. While foraging has been considered in many previous accounts to have a historically close connection to one particular sub branch of Aslian (Northern Aslian), we highlight several mismatches in this correlation and take a step toward disentangling a complex picture of linguistic history and contact. (Less)
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organization
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type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Dynamics of human diversity: the case of Mainland Southeast Asia
editor
Enfield, Nick
pages
257 - 275
publisher
Pacific Linguistics
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
be3bc039-c7ea-4778-ab37-4cdcab0a22be (old id 1685021)
date added to LUP
2010-09-27 10:54:04
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:49:47
@inbook{be3bc039-c7ea-4778-ab37-4cdcab0a22be,
  abstract     = {The Malay Peninsula is a crossroads for people, languages and cultural influences, apparent in today's vibrant mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and European. Yet this modern state of affairs all but conceals signals of much older situations of diversity. Thus, some 140,000 people grouped together under the label Orang Asli (Malay for 'aboriginal people') represent a range of cultural and biological adaptations and linguistic diversifications with roots far back in prehistory. These 20-plus ethnolinguistic groups represent a unique and vanishing window on the history of human diversity in the region, and they offer intriguing examples relevant to more general issues of the dynamics of human societies.<br/><br>
By synthesising the current ethnographic, linguistic and genetic body of knowledge about these groups with our own quantitative analyses of new lexical data from 27 language varieties, we explore the local historical relationships and interaction between languages and cultures. Specifically, we look at the relationship between a particular subsistence mode, namely nomadic foraging, and the Aslian branch of the Austroasiatic language stock. While foraging has been considered in many previous accounts to have a historically close connection to one particular sub branch of Aslian (Northern Aslian), we highlight several mismatches in this correlation and take a step toward disentangling a complex picture of linguistic history and contact.},
  author       = {Burenhult, Niclas and Kruspe, Nicole and Dunn, Michael},
  editor       = {Enfield, Nick},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {257--275},
  publisher    = {Pacific Linguistics},
  series       = {Dynamics of human diversity: the case of Mainland Southeast Asia},
  title        = {Language history and culture groups among Austroasiatic-speaking foragers of the Malay Peninsula},
  year         = {2011},
}